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Modern School Project

Last updated: Monday 28th December 2015

Blog Posts

Working as a team to deliver a brilliant air-tightness result

Wednesday 6th April 2016

Further to our blog post on the 17th of November where we announced an interim air-pressurisation test result of 0.48 V/h @ 50Pa, we’re delighted to announce that the final test delivered a result of 0.50 V/h @ 50 Pa. That’s a difference of just 0.02, just to state the obvious. It could have been better too. The opening roof-lights have a two stage seal in order to deliver the required performance requirements. The second seal delivers passivhaus levels of air-tightness. When the final air-tightness test was carried out, the windows were only sealed to the first stage. Due to time pressures on the day, and the result, it was decided not to redo the test.

Given the complexities of a commercial project, the team has delivered a brilliant result. This result demonstrates that the service personnel designing and installing the ductwork, pipework, electrics etc… were diligent and that a culture of collaboration works in the construction industry.

Mechanical & Electrical Services Installation

Tuesday 26th January 2016

The mechanical and electrical services installation at the new hall is well underway. The work entails installing pipework for the underfloor heating system, domestic water distribution, ventilation equipment and distribution ductwork, lighting and electrical cabling for power sockets etc…

The Multi-Comfort standard requires a high level of insulation and building fabric air tightness resulting in little or no requirement for a heating system.

In the case of the new sports and drama hall at King’s School, it was decided, as the building was frequently unoccupied, a small system would be required to efficiently prepare the space, prior to occupants and equipment taking the bulk of the heating load requirements.

Construction News visits site

Construction News visited the King’s School in Worcester during the summer. They interviewed Dave Mann, Project Manager for Speller Metcalfe, Bill Cave, Small Works Director for Speller Metcalfe and Galen Bartholonew, Bursar at the King’s School in Worcester.
You can see the interviews below.

One of the CIOB guests made an important observation

Friday 4th December 2015

In our blog post on the 25th November about the CIOB visit to the King’s School, we shared a few one-minute videos of visitors’ views of Multi-Comfort and the build.

We didn’t share one of the videos as it raised a very good point; Peter Churchill, a retired George Wimpey (now Taylor Wimpey) employee, says he’s pretty impressed with Multi-Comfort, and the build, but recognised that training people to deliver Multi-Comfort is a big issue.In our blog post on the 25th November about the CIOB visit to the King’s School, we shared a few one-minute videos of visitors’ views of Multi-Comfort and the build. We didn’t share one of the videos as it raised a very good point; Peter Churchill, a retired George Wimpey (now Taylor Wimpey) employee, says he’s pretty impressed with Multi-Comfort, and the build, but recognised that training people to deliver Multi-Comfort is a big issue.

Peter’s right, it’s all very well designing a high performance building, but in order for the building to perform as designed, the trades involved in the construction need to work together, with a clear understanding of the end goal and with the knowledge that their actions can affect the end performance of the build positively and negatively.

CIOB visit to the King’s School – 16th November 2015

Wednesday 25th November 2015

The Hereford & Worcester CIOB group visited the site on the evening of the 16th November. Saint-Gobain sent along a camera and asked the visitors who they were, what they thought of the Multi-Comfort concept and what they thought of the new hall. View the one minute videos below to see their answers.

Air Pressurisation Test

Tuesday 17th November 2015

Thermal comfort can only be achieved if the temperature being controlled by the high levels of insulation isn’t allowed to disappear through unwanted gaps in the building fabric. BRE state that a disproportionate amount of heat is lost through the smallest of gaps.

The Multi-Comfort criterion for non-residential new-build, for air-tightness, is 0.6 V/h @ 50Pa (N50 standard). That is 0.6 air changes, by volume, per hour when the building is subjected to a pressure of 50 Pascal. This is roughly equivalent to 1m3/ for the UK Q50 standard.

Dave Mann provides a video update about progress on-site

Monday 12th October 2015

My name’s Dave Mann, I’m the Site Manager for Speller Metcalfe.

We’re seven months into the build.

Progress so far:

We got the roof partially completed, so this elevation is almost done. The east elevation is half way complete, so good progress is being made, which is essential for us in regards to getting the building nice and water-tight.

The Kings School – Building Monitoring

Tuesday 11th August 2015

The build on site is progressing nicely as the structure continues to go up.

As we covered the structure in the last post, in this one, we thought we’d cover monitoring the building’s performance, not just the school hall, but also the existing school hall so we can identify the improvement in performance that the new Multi-Comfort building delivers for the occupants and owners.

The existing hall will be monitored for 6 months and the new for two years.

All data collected will be normalised and sent for independent verification to BRE (Building Research Establishment).

Video interviews with Head and Site Manager

Wednesday 5th August 2015

I’m Jim Turner, I’m Head at King’s Hawford School, and I’m really pleased to be working with Associated Architects, Speller Metcalfe and Saint-Gobain on this really important project for the school. It will be such a huge addition to the school and one that we’re very excited to see come to fruition.

Our existing hall is really quite old now. It’s simply a converted barn. It’s not at all energy efficient. In fact, it’s very difficult to heat and at other times of the year it’s very difficult to keep at the right temperature. It’s quite uncomfortable, and some of our events have seen some of our audience leaving in a state of distress with them being rather too warm and not comfortable.

The King’s School, Worcester – Pasquill Glulam and I-beams

Thursday 9th July 2015

In this update we’re talking about the structure of the Multi-Comfort King’s Hawford Junior School. The structure consists of glue laminated timbers (Glulams) connected with I-joists from Saint-Gobain Group company, Pasquill.

Glulam timber’s tensile characteristics make it suitable for long span, load-bearing widths, such as bridges. It is an exceptionally strong material, used for load-bearing structures where visual appearance is important, which can be shaped, helping to form spacious buildings.

The Glulam timbers are being used to mimic the existing aesthetical appeal of a barn – typical of other buildings in the vicinity. This modern method of construction (mmc) allows for increased structural spans and provides large open multi-use spaces such as the required specification of King’s Hawford sports and drama hall.

Celotex FR5000 and Vario

Wednesday 1st July 2015

In the last update we talked about the LECA® Insufill insulation that was being used below the slab. In this post, we will be covering floor insulation, perimeter upstands and the slab itself.

A polyethylene separating layer was fitted over the top of the LECA® Insufill and then 250mm of Celotex FR5000 installed with staggered joints.

FR5000 from Celotex, a Saint-Gobain Group company, is manufactured from rigid PIR (polyisocyanurate) and has a lambda value of just 0.021 W/m.K (the lower the number, the better the thermal performance). You can see from the picture, taken by Mark Allen, Head of Technical for Saint-Gobain, that multiple layers of insulation were used and the joints of the boards staggered. The insulation is fixed very close and abutting the concrete without any gaps, to maximise the thermal performance.

…and we’re off

Thursday 21st May 2015 - By Mark Allen

Ground has been broken and the build of the King’s Hawford Multi-Comfort school sports hall is underway.

The sports hall has been designed to offer superior thermal, audio and visual comfort as well as improved internal air quality for its occupants.

The build will take approximately 42 weeks and should be complete, so the building can be used, at the start of 2016.

Saint-Gobain products have been utilised throughout the building. Through this blog, we’ll be talking about them, their benefits, how they contribute to the comfort and the build process.


Tuesday 19th May 2015

Saint-Gobain in the UK and Ireland, the leader in the sustainable habitat and construction markets, has announced the start of its first project in the UK to be built to Multi-Comfort standards.

Together with Associated Architects and building contractor Speller Metcalfe, Saint-Gobain is putting its recently launched Multi-Comfort concept into practice – the holistic approach to constructing buildings, designed to improve occupant comfort, health and wellbeing. Work has begun constructing a new £1.2m multi-purpose sports and drama hall for one of Worcestershire’s leading independent schools.