Top of the class

  • Dean Trust Ardwick is the largest volumetric building Laing O’Rourke has constructed
  • The structure of the 8,100m2 high school was completed in just 22 working days
  • 70% of the school has been constructed using modules made off site

In September 2016, Laing O’Rourke successfully handed over Dean Trust Ardwick 2016, the largest volumetric building it has ever constructed. The 8,100m2 high school has the capity for 1200 pupils, and took just seven months to complete.

“Looking at the benchmark data, DTA 16 is the fastest secondary school we’ve ever built, and has been completed in just seven months.” explains Neil Strangeways, operations leader for Select Building Solutions. “That includes concept design, site investigation works, planning, detailed design, manufacture, assembly and fit out. It’s really quite remarkable to see an 8,100 m2 building constructed in 22 working days and ready for fit out.”

70% of the building has been delivered using modules manufactured off site, whilst the remaining 30% has been delivered using a large proportion of LOR’s internal businesses, including – for the first time – Crown House Technologies.

Neil continues: “It’s the beauty of having such a powerful in-house delivery team, when you look at Expanded doing all the external works, foundations and installing Bison planks, CHt delivering all the offsite and onsite MEP and you look at Select and our specialist knowledge of delivering volumetric modular buildings and you add to that the project management expertise of the Laing O’Rourke team and you’ve got a true, one team delivery model which gives the certainty that clients require.”

“I can’t imagine anything worse than being the person to tell the local authority on 31st August that the school which is due to open on 2nd September isn’t going to be open until October or November.

“I’m proud to say that – in all of the volumetric education schemes we’ve worked on - we have never failed to open a school on time. And it’s demonstrable that we have delivered those projects on time because we have harnessed off site construction and we have an integrated delivery model.”

Tarun Kapur CBE, chief executive and academy principal said: “At the outset, we were pleased that we were invited in to be part of the project team, because often you’re given a building that looks shiny and nice, but it’s got lots of features that you wouldn’t have put in.”

“The school in full operation is fantastic. We’ve probably got the best assembly hall in Manchester and I’m really proud of that… We’ve got a great sports hall too!”