The newly rebuilt 3 storey Kings CE (A) school has state-of-the-art facilities that will greatly enhance the educational opportunities of the young people of Kidsgrove and surrounding areas. The school features a modern hall with retractable theatre style seating; an open-plan learning resource centre overlooking spacious dining facilities; and specialist teaching rooms for all subjects.
The large atrium creates a sense of gravitas and occasion. Dedicated lecture seating in the hall, a four-court sports hall and dance studio range amongst the new facilities built for pupils, plus a dedicated study and lecture rooms for sixth form students and a range of facilities opened up to the community, including a training bistro, and hair and beauty salon.
Working with Innovaré's design team, architects Maber and main contractor Interserve created the scheme, distinctive for its size and use of timber building materials, whilst integrating steel frame and concrete stairs and floors. Innovaré's Offsite construction solution the i-SIP System was specified to significantly reduce the risk of settlement in this mega-structure, whilst value engineering of the steel reduced cost, managing to remove up to 70% of steel from the original design.
The Kings CE (A) is the largest school in the UK built using a SIPs structure. A £14 million project and the final school from a batch of 8 designed by architects Maber using Innovaré's hybrid i-SIP System.
The team at Innovaré demonstrated an innovative approach to school design and construction, using a SIPs structure with the ability to integrate steel and concrete off-site components where necessary in the interests of performance and costs, responding directly to the pressures of reduced funding, tight site constraints and performance specifications. By designing at risk from an early stage concept, the design and construction of the Kings benefitted from the speed and cost advantages of a hybrid, timber based off-site construction with simple, effective solutions to the challenges of compliance.
Innovaré's i-SIP Full Structure System proved to be the sustainable design choice, saving a huge 179,000 kg in embodied carbon over the original specification of steel and masonry. Using scaffoldless erection and a lean team of installation operatives, the 3 storey school covering 7318 m² was built in just 11 weeks.
Through i-SIP, Innovaré has proven its capability to address the government's Facilities Output Specification with an off-site built system without derogation. The F.O.S. is a stringent standard outlining technical performance covering internal environment, daylighting, acoustics, ventilation and thermal comfort requirements within specific budgetary guidelines; the Education Funding Agency has acknowledged that i-SIP is the only off-site system to fully meet its exacting standards.
The Kings CE(A) incorporates a flexible structural grid to ensure a range of future modifications are possible. Simple structural interfaces were used to enable future adaptations withlimited disruption. Designing in service runs optimised speed onsite and M&E design. The capability to 'clad anywhere' onto the i-SIP panel system ensures the main contractor's capability to mix and match the outward appearance whilst keeping options open for different solutions in the future.
The school pupils themselves were given a glimpse of how their new school would look when they visited the Innovaré factory in Coventry to see how the i-SIP panels are made and learned to use CAD software to design some panelised buildings of their own, receiving a real identification with their new school and being able to handle and sign their classroom panels.