26 April 2018
Tor School Glastonbury, Somerset
Customer: Somerset County Council
Value: £2.9 million
Duration: 47 weeks
Completion Date: Jan 2018
Contract Type: NEC3 Option A
Procurement Type: Competitive tender - 2 stage
Framework Agreement: SCF
Average CCS score 40.5
CCS Bronze 2018 National Site Award
Average customer survey score 99.5%
Supported six apprentices
Diverted 92.1% of waste from landfill
Tor School is a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Glastonbury, one of the first fully integrated PRUs in the UK, which brings together three streams of Somerset County Council’s educational facilities. The school offers alternative educational provision for vulnerable young people who struggle in a mainstream school environment and provides facilities for Key Stages 2 to 4. The PRU includes a Learning Enhancement Centre with facilities for outreach staff. Designed with the needs of the young people in mind, the building’s layout enables direct access from each classroom to dedicated external spaces. The different year groups share specialist spaces, including a breakout room with low-level lighting. Midas constructed this single-storey, 12 classroom educational building on a design and build contract. This well-insulated building features blockwork render on all elevations with a truss timber roof and robust internal fittings designed to accommodate the specialist needs of the pupils. Midas completed groundworks including drainage and service connections, with internal works including first fix M&E, dry lining, plastering and decorations.
The customer had a restricted budget with which to meet their project requirements.
This constrained site contained a party wall and was bounded by commercial and residential properties, including a live ambulance station to the south and an adjacent Learning Difficulties Day Centre that remained open throughout the project.
The site contained hazardous underground and overhead live services including a high voltage cable that served half of Glastonbury. The project also included creation of a substation requiring rerouting of existing services and removal of redundant services..
Midas completed a best value review with the customer early in the preconstruction process with £676k delivered at practical completion, including changing the render specification, changing the external paving to tarmac and rationalising the footpaths. Midas saved the customer £20k by recommending metal soffits as an alternative product with an improved lifespan and by building for longevity by using hardwood doorframes and achieving an air tightness rating of 3.6m³/hm² (below the target of 5m³/hm²).
The team secured the site with Heras fencing, hoarding, signage and gate control, and liaised regularly with the customer team and key stakeholders of the Day Centre. To manage the restricted space, Midas negotiated use of an adjacent unpaved area between the site and the ambulance station, used for ambulance parking. Midas created a hard-standing area shared between the ambulance service and the site team during the project, providing them with a finished car park at completion of works. Midas maintained open communication with their staff holding regular update meetings to maintain this amicable relationship.
To manage the significant risk to operatives and the public presented by the live services, Midas commissioned a Utility Report and ground scans to provide an overlay of the site footprint and services. The team completed additional service locating procedures prior to breaking ground, with a subsurface scan of the entire site. Midas ensured operatives completed works under a permit to dig system, using site service drawings and hand-held locating equipment. The team coordinated with utility providers for solutions to mitigate the risk and made subcontractors aware of the risk through site inductions and Toolbox Talks. For diversion of the high voltage (HV) cable, the Midas Design Team, electrical engineer and services engineer, in collaboration with Western Power Distribution (WPD), designed and agreed a solution for a service diversion of the HV and low voltage (LV) cables. Midas established clear isolation zones around the buried services, using full barrier protection, with a strict no-dig rule implemented within these areas. Once WPD completed service diversions, Midas backfilled trenches to support and protect the services and reinstated protective barriers to fully segregate these areas from general construction activity. The team identified the location of diverted services using timber posts and Rhino Blocks.
Of the total firms employed on this project, 96.2% were SMEs with 100% of the project value spent with local companies. The site employed 90% local labour, including advertising jobs through local employment vehicles that led to two full time placements.
The team remained on site for two weeks after practical completion to assist with the handover process, resolve any outstanding snagging issues during the building’s initial use and for customer services. The Midas team maintained constant communication with the Head Teacher during this period to resolve any issues and ensure a smooth handover