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Article Date: 1st March 2017

Taylor Maxwell - Paxton School, London - Tick all the Boxes

Paxton Primary School - Facing Brick - Brick Cladding System

Taylor Maxwell - Paxton School

Paxton Primary School has been completely transformed in just 22 weeks thanks to fast track offsite construction methods.

The £8.25million primary school, located in the London Borough of Lambeth, has been transformed from a single-form entry school into a three-form school that can now accommodate 720 local children, three times the number previously enrolled.

The brand new school now includes 23 classrooms over four stories, two double height sports halls, dining halls, and various areas of teaching space. Situated on a split level 3736m² site, including a play area on two levels, the ground floor opens out onto a play and learning area for both nursery and reception children.

The foremost factors driving the design solution for the new school was the importance of the facility remaining open and fully operational throughout the construction period. The purpose of the new school was to replace and extend the existing school on the same site and complete in time for the start of the new school year. This meant that speed of construction was of vital importance.

Extraspace Solutions, the main contractors on this intricate scheme, worked closely in partnership with Paul Murphy Architects from the outset. They came up with a solution that provided the most energy effective, low maintenance service solution, matched to the clients’ needs.

The project plans originally called for a traditional facing brick finish and therefore Mario Sacco, Architect at Paul Murphy Architects, initially contacted Taylor Maxwell with a view to selecting a brick type for the scheme. However, following consultation with TM representative Aaron Doyle and discussing the specific requirements of the programme, it was soon established that the Corium brick cladding system would provide an ideal solution. Both Mario and Extraspace Solutions had used the Corium system previously and knew that the school could be completed in a shorter timeframe than a traditional facing brick choice would have allowed.

Taylor Maxwell - Paxton SchoolAaron explained, "The brick cladding system offered a great combination of a traditional facing brick appearance with fast track installation. The benefit of Corium’s all weather install was a massive plus for this incredibly time sensitive project, as well as the different bond patterns that could be achieved including stack bond. Corium appeared to tick all the boxes."

"Speed was a very, very big factor in the selection of Corium" Paul Tierney, Managing Director of Extraspace Solutions added; "We’ve used it before and we know how efficient it is – with the timeframe we had and the fact that it is four storeys, traditional brick would have been incredibly slow."

Mario was impressed with TM’s assistance on the scheme, "The rep came in to the office several times showing samples and discussing options. The assistance from
Aaron with the selection was very good."

In conjunction with a modular system that meant many of the building components were completed before delivery to site, the use of the Corium brick cladding system could achieve a time saving of approximately 50% against traditional construction methods, whilst minimising disruption to both staff and students. This was imperative in such a densely populated part of London. With sustainability high
on the agenda, Extraspace Solutions were able to dramatically reduce the journeys to site, as well as significantly reduce the amount of waste created, compared to a conventional build.

"Once we landed on site in March, we had to demolish the existing school and complete the new school within a very strict timeframe" Paul Tierney recalled.

"The site was incredibly restrictive; the main school was live the whole time so we had very little area on site to do any of the works. Within three and a half weeks we had installed all 116 off-site modules, prior to the Corium being fixed. A TM representative provided a demonstration on site to show how it was installed and then the installers took it from there."

The brand new school has been clad with a simple palette of Corium brick finishes to maintain simplicity and continuity throughout the site, however a nonstandard double thick Corium tile has been used to create a stunning protruding brick facade feature that provides interest and depth to the tall elevations.

Paul Tierney explained, "The feature brick wall provides a ‘3D effect’ to the sports hall and makes it stand out. The wall is 16m from ground level to roof, and adds an interesting perspective that breaks up the tall elevation."

Taylor Maxwell - Paxton SchoolMario supplemented, "The deeper bricks give a great effect on the sports hall and the building itself."

Due to the fast track construction methods employed, Extraspace Solutions succeeded in delivering a fantastic new school, comprising of steel frame construction and concrete floors, to the borough of Lambeth within just 22 weeks.

"There were no delays in opening and there were 360 children present for enrolment on the morning of the 7th September ready to embrace their new school" Paul continued, "The clients were satisfied and we had no major issues at all. We were very happy with the Corium system. It went up so quickly once the railings were installed."

Mario agreed, "It is a very good project, when you consider what was achieved given the limitation of the site and time involved, the Corium bricks give a great result. We have used other brick cladding systems in the past, and this is our second time using Corium. It seems like a better system than the others, the appearance is of a better quality and there is a decent choice of bricks that can be used which is good."

Paxton Primary School was named as a finalist in two categories of the Offsite Construction Awards 2016, which took place in Birmingham on 18th October 2016. The school was shortlisted as a finalist in the following two categories: Best use of Volumetric Technology and Best Hybrid Construction Project.

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