Education: Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph, Denbighshire

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Education A lesson in offsite fabrication 24 NSC July/Aug 16 One of the leading Welsh languages schools, Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph, North Wales, is undergoing a £14.5M development that will extend and improve the school site to accommodate an increase in demand for spaces, as well as providing new, modern facilities. Denbighshire County Council and the Welsh Government, through the 21st Century Schools programme, are funding the project. A new steel-framed teaching block, where a number of time-saving offsite manufacturing procedures have been utilised, is the cornerstone of the entire development. Once this building is completed and open later this year, with students and staff fully decamped in it, phase two of the scheme will begin which includes refurbishing the existing school structures. Construction work began in November last year with main contractor Willmott Dixon relocating approximately 20,000m3 of earth in order level the former playing field site in readiness for the build programme. “No material left site as it was all moved to another area of our plot to be used later in creating new playing pitches for the school,” explains Willmott Dixon Construction Manager Brian Hanlon. As with many construction projects time is of the essence and the choice of steel as the framing solution for this job has paid off. Due to a few inclement weather stoppages and a period of downtime to relocate some great crested newts from the site, the project may well have found itself behind schedule. However, due to the steel package being completed in eight weeks, instead of the projected 13, the job is actually ahead. “We pre-assembled all of the steel window frames at our facility, which then speeded up our programme on site considerably,” says EvadX Managing Director Simon Adams. “The cold rolled framing system was then fixed to the window frames on site onto previously shop-welded connections, which allowed the remaining cold rolled elements to be installed quickly.” Another time saving procedure EvadX used for their steel package was to supply and manufacture balustrades for the areas of the first and second floors that overlook the central atrium. Again these were fixed to beams on site with the beams having shop-welded connections to receive the balustrades that made installation quicker. The balustrades have also doubled up as edge protection during the construction programme. “Basically once an area of the main steel frame was erected we had another gang following on behind immediately installing the cold rolled elements,” adds Mr Adams. “This meant the building was watertight much quicker.” Overall the new three-floor steel teaching block is a rectangular building measuring 60m x 40m that will be connected to the existing school via a first floor enclosed 11.5m-long link bridge. “The structure is a steel-frame for a number of reasons,” says Caulmert Director Paul Savile. “Contractor preference, the building lends itself to a steel design, while resource availability in North Wales favours steel.” Erected around a regular 7.4m grid pattern, the steel frame supports metal The construction of a North Wales school has reaped the benefits of using offsite fabrication as weeks have been shaved off of the construction programme. Martin Cooper reports. FACT FILE Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph, Denbighshire Main client: Denbighshire County Council Architect: Bond Bryan Architects Main contractor: Willmott Dixon Structural engineer: Caulmert Steelwork contractor: EvadX Steel tonnage: 365t


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