Undertaking RIBA Stages 2 – 5, Design4Structures was commissioned for the structural and civil engineering design of a 2-storey administration block and a 3-storey teaching block for the Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The scheme also included improvement to the existing hard and soft landscaping as well as a new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). In accordance with the Department of Education’s requirements, the design process needed to be carried out within a comprehensive Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment.

Our civils team was also responsible for preparing a flood risk assessment and drainage strategy to support the planning application. The use of green roofs fully integrated into the architectural and structural elements, alongside the use of permeable paving underneath the hard landscaping and MUGA, demonstrated to the Local Planning Authority, that multiple benefits have been achieved through a fully integrated approach to engineering.

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Tooting, London




Baxall Construction   |   Department of Education

The Solution

D4S were involved from the development phase, through to the detailed design stage, including the below ground drainage and design of the steel frame structure.

A vital challenge presented throughout the project delivery, was maintaining the meticulous coordination of all elements of the design phase, which included multiple consultants. The seamless interactions between our in-house engineers plus mechanical, electrical and architectural professionals, was pivotal to the ultimate success of the project. Through deploying BIM and utilising Trimble Connect, D4S were able to facilitate an efficient and synergistic collaboration amongst consultants, ensuring that all design elements were diligently coordinated. This enabled the project team to locate clashes and potential issues, mitigating potential discrepancies, to ensure a smooth transition to the construction phase.

A second complexity surrounded the retention of an adjoining sports hall, whilst facilitating the demolition of the existing school building. Our structural engineers overcame this by introducing a permanent propping detail, providing stable support for the existing sports hall, whilst ensuring that the structural integrity of both buildings remained uncompromised.

Delivery Impact

Our natural collaborative approach to delivery, alongside in-house capabilities for BIM and integrated design enabled sustainable and efficient delivery, with time savings and cost reductions achieved throughout the product lifecycle. Whilst MMC was not feasible, due to site constraints, the adoption of a steel frame solution, emerged as a beneficial alternative, ensuring the project adhered to structural, budgetary and timeline specifications.

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