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Balfour€™s BIM benefits Bolton school

Balfour Beatty uses latest digital technology to deliver two-storey Clarendon primary school in one year

Posted by Dave Higgitt | April 16, 2014 | Facilities management

Pupils and staff are learning and teaching in a new state-of-the-art primary school just one year after Balfour Beatty started work on their new building, thanks to an intensive construction programme aided by the latest digital technology.

The new £5.8 million two-storey Clarendon School building in Bolton, which was handed over in early April and includes 12 new classrooms, two reception rooms and a nursery, was built utilising the latest 3D Building Information Modelling  (BIM) software and techniques. This enabled the team to compress the building programme to 52 weeks from a typical 57-week programme. BIM also enabled the building’s special open design to be ‘road-tested’ by teaching staff with a virtual reality fly-through of the building.

The new building meets the latest ‘Class A’ energy efficiency standard, with features such as photovoltaic panels to provide free electricity and transparent mirrored roof domes which, as well as providing natural light, help to heat the classrooms and corridors. The building’s energy use is managed by an automatic system which ensures the optimum balance of internally and externally generated energy is achieved. Balfour Beatty has also incorporated architectural features such as the original terracotta panels from the Victorian building that were replaced.

Councillor Kevin McKeon, Bolton Council executive member for schools and skills, said: “We’re really excited to take possession of this new building, which will provide all the facilities and technology needed for 21st century learning. We are very impressed that Balfour Beatty managed to complete the school so quickly, cutting the time on comparable programmes, and were able to use Building Information Modelling to achieve this and to give us and our staff at the school an insight into how the school would work after completion.”

Jon Adams, Balfour Beatty regional managing director, said: “We are delighted to have handed over this terrific school to its teachers and pupils. We were able to demonstrate the benefits of our leading Building Information Modelling techniques during construction, working closely with the governors and staff, to not only compress the building programme but to ensure that the teaching staff were happy that the new building would improve the learning environment for their pupils.”

The building will serve 420 children and their teachers in Recreation Street and was completed as part of the Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.



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