The school will be
one of Mindenhurst's
first assets to be
knuckle joint, that forms an inclined
section from two separate steel members.
Completing each saw-tooth ridge, the north
side is formed with a single rafter that slopes
outward and downwards to its supporting
Overall, the school will include two
nursery classrooms with associated spaces
that can be operated independently on the
ground floor. Elsewhere, two reception and
12 more classrooms will be available to
accommodate year one and two pupils on
both the ground and first floors.
The ground floor is 2m wider than the
upper level along the western elevation,
allowing these classes to have more room.
Because of this longer span on the
ground floor, the column line for this
elevation’s first floor does not align with the
The first-floor columns are consequently
supported on a series of box section
members, acting as a transfer structure.
The 500mm × 300mm box sections
each measured 8m-long and weighed 2.5t.
These were the heaviest steel elements
that steelwork contractor William Haley
Engineering had to erect on the project.
The top portion of the T-shaped structure
accommodates a large double-height space
for two halls. These column-free spaces are
both 12m-wide and will be separated by a
moveable partition, allowing them to be
used as one or two separate areas.
Adjacent to the hall is another two-storey
zone, accommodating the school’s kitchen
on the lower floor and a plant deck above.
Stability for the steel frame, which
supports precast planks to form the upper
level, is provided by bracing, located in
corridors and partition walls.
“The decision to use precast flooring
was all about speed of installation,” sums
up Skanska Construction Director George
Taylor. “William Haley erected the steel
and all of the project’s precast units, which
included a lift shaft, in just five weeks.
“Also, the overall design for this eyecatching
structure could not have been done
in any material other than steel, because of
the shape and length of spans.”
A total of 26 new buildings are being
constructed by Skanska at Worthy Down, 14
of which are steel-framed structures.
Steelwork contractor William Haley Engineering
has fabricated, supplied and erected approximately
2,000t of steel for these buildings during a phased
programme that started in 2015.
The steel-framed buildings have included
accommodation blocks, a combined sergeants' and
officer’s mess, retail and leisure facilities, a physical
recreation and training facility and most recently an
entrance building and museum (pictured), requiring
125t of steel.
The museum is a rectangular braced frame
structure with a 2,130m2 ground floor and an
L-shaped upper level with 479m2 of space. The lower
level will accommodate a site reception, café and
the main exhibition space, while upstairs there are
offices, a plant area and a visitor walkway that will
allow visitors to look down on the museum exhibits.
Commenting on the choice of a steel solution
for the museum and many of Worthy Down’s
other structures, Skanska Design Director Dan
Bennett says: “Steel is ideal for the long spans
required in these buildings and it was a more
cost-effective solution compared to alternative
structural solutions. Steel is also more versatile,
creating complex shapes, while it is also relatively
lightweight, resulting in smaller, more efficient
Worthy Down redevelopment
The distinctive sawtooth
roof is formed
by a series of cranked