Our long-term project to extend and redevelop the site at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire reaches its latest phase, with the addition of a new passenger lift to replace an old platform lift. This will enable pupils, staff and visitors with impaired mobility to access the first floor classrooms and facilities, and is a very welcome addition to the Academy site.
Also in this development phase was the refurbishment of the design & technology room and art rooms, refreshing the spaces and giving them a renewed lease of life. A new corridor leads to the Henlow Hub. Two existing rooms were knocked into one to create a larger library/hub space, with a moveable library shelving system to give more flexibility. The interior design scheme for the room combines the four colours that have been used throughout the extension and refurbishment of this block.
Nothing stays the same for long these days, and so it’s almost inevitable that at some stage, your school accommodation will need to either change or grow (or both!). Perhaps a forthcoming increase in the school roll means that additional classroom space is required, or improved facilities (new science labs or DT rooms, for example) are needed to help deliver the national curriculum.
Of course, you are getting on with the important task of running your school and teaching children, and so appointing an experienced project manager in conjunction with suitably qualified architectural designers at the very infancy of a site development project is key to its success.
PCMS Design is such a firm, and our expertise in this field is broad and deep. There are many ways in which we can add value. At feasibility stage, we can properly assess the potential of your building (against DfE guidance) and make recommendations as to how it can be cost-effectively and practically expanded and changed.
We will carefully guide you through all of the various stages involved in a construction project.
We understand the planning process, and have strong links with many local authority planning and building control departments. We will handle the procurement of suitable building contractors, the contract administration and detailed project management of the build.
Accurate cost control is obviously vital for public sector projects and this is a major benefit of using a project manager. And with our emphasis on sustainable construction, we will ensure that the build uses the best, most environmentally-friendly materials and has features such as renewable energy generation as standard.
In essence, using a project manager can save you time and money, ensuring successful and stress-free delivery of your school building projects.
Our team was delighted to hear last week that we have been shortlisted for a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Central Region Building Excellence Award 2019.
We are hopeful that our new build sports hall and six classroom construction project at Henlow Academy will achieve success in the ‘Best Educational Building’ category. The project team including Central Bedfordshire Council, Henlow Academy, Cox Clifford Partnership, BSD Consulting Engineers, Marstan BDB and Borras Construction are very pleased that the project has been nominated.
This is our eighth consecutive year of being shortlisted for an Award, and we are all looking forward to attending the black tie Awards Ceremony in Milton Keynes in April. Regional category winners are put forward to the National LABC Awards.
A significant school development project has just completed at Henlow Church of England Academy to the delight of staff and pupils. PCMS Design was involved from the very outset, taking the Academy from feasibility stage when we examined the potential of providing extra accommodation on site, through to pre-planning, detailed design and specification and then lastly the construction management of the project.
The new building provides a modern four-court sports hall with changing areas, and six classrooms in an attached block. Pupils will be able to benefit from a range of sports including netball, badminton, basketball, hockey and five-a-side football. A giant projector with screen has been installed so the school can use the hall for assemblies and other teaching events. The facilities will be available to hire by the wider community.
Six new humanities and language classrooms provide the latest in educational technology with interactive whiteboards in each. Creating a bright and comfortable teaching environment has been a priority; the classrooms have been designed to meet the space and facility requirements set out by the Department for Education and include fibre optic links, Wi-Fi coverage as well as the latest modern security and fire systems.
This £2.4 million investment in Henlow Church of England Academy’s site was funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and the Education & Skills Funding Agency. Site construction works were completed on time and to budget by Borras Construction Limited.
Head teacher Caren Earp is thrilled with the new facilities: “A big thank you to PCMS Design – with all of their support, design skills and project management expertise we now have a fantastic new building which is going to be of huge benefit to our children, increasing the number and range of opportunities for sport that we can now offer.”
Alex Bond of PCMS Design commented: “We feel very privileged to have been involved with this exciting site development project at Henlow Academy. Effective communication between the design team, local authority staff, specialist consultants, builders and their sub-contractors was the key to its successful completion, ready for the new school year.”
Bedford Borough Council Planning Committee granted planning permission this week for a 24 place extension to a children’s day nursery in Hargrave, which is located on the Beds/Northants border. Grassroots Nursery has been given consent for a new 24-place single storey unit close to the original building, together with six new car parking spaces. Although one objection to the proposal had been received, the Committee decided that the case for the extension was acceptable.
This is the second time that PCMS Design has been involved with Grassroots Nursery. Back in 2013, we secured change of use for a residential dwelling located within the grounds of a farm into day nursery, and subsequently worked on the design, specification, procurement and project management of the build.
Nursery owner Kim How is delighted with the outcome of the latest planning application: “That’s fabulous news – PCMS Design are great at thinking through planning niggles/nuances.”
We have recently managed the construction of a part two-storey and part single-storey rear extension to a family home in Buckinghamshire. Our clients had already received planning permission for the scheme, but needed assistance with producing construction drawings, finding suitable builders and then administering a building contract.
On the first floor, a new master bedroom was added with an en suite bathroom. Downstairs the extension has allowed not only for a large open plan kitchen / breakfast room with folding doors into the garden, but also a useful utility and storage room.
Everything ran very smoothly and finished on time and within budget. Our clients are delighted with their larger home: “PCMS Design’s assistance in liaising with the building firm and administering the contract was invaluable, and everyone worked together really well. We could highly recommend this service to others in a similar situation.”
We are working hard at the moment to help get a popular Grade II Listed Chilterns pub back into operation and trading again. The White Lion in St Leonards, which is much loved by local residents in the surrounding hill top villages, has had a chequered history in the last few years. It’s been closed for business since January 2014. However, the future is now looking much brighter.
The White Lion was bought by Mandy Grimwood as a business opportunity in June 2017. Mandy appointed PCMS Design to advise on the potential for the building; it was clear that in order to be a viable business the whole building required renovation and extension. Our design proposal includes the demolition of a poor quality rear toilet block and reconfiguring and enlarging the public bar and restaurant area, whilst retaining the pub’s historic character. All areas of the pub are affected by the proposed works, including the landlord’s accommodation on the first floor.
A planning application with listed building consent is currently under consideration by Chiltern District Council. Director of PCMS Design Alex Bond said: “Everyone involved in this unique project is very excited by the prospect of the pub being put back on the map, and so far it has the support of many neighbours and several groups, including the ‘Save The White Lion’ campaign. It is rare to get the opportunity to help open a pub, and we hope to see it re-open next year.”
We were extremely pleased to learn last week that a recent project has been awarded an A-Rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Our client was the National Trust; we recently completed the design and carried out project management for an extension to their Estate Office building at Ashridge Park near Tring. This included new offices and meeting room, and extensive alterations to the existing structure to create a new internal layout.
EPCs are awarded based upon the energy efficiency rating on a scale from G (less energy efficient) to A (more energy efficient). The refurbished and extended building saw a significant improvement due to higher levels of insulation, introduction of LED lighting and a new biomass boiler which has been installed.
Fewer than 1% of commercial premises achieve an A rating so this is a very positive result. To find out how we can help improve the energy performance of your building then please do get in touch.
We reached an important milestone last week when members of our team made the first site visit to a new development project at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire. This is following our successful application to Central Bedfordshire Council for planning permission on behalf of the Academy, to a building design we had produced.
Construction has begun on a four-court sports hall and new classrooms, which will form the cornerstone of a larger site development project. We have already overseen the construction of a link extension and internal alterations to the main building in 2017, but the Academy will benefit still further from the latest increase in sports provision and additional teaching space.
The principal contractor, Borras Construction, has made a start on foundation trenches with the first inspection completed by Central Bedfordshire Council Building Control. We are looking forward to seeing progress as we oversee the construction throughout the nine month build period.
Thame & District Housing Association is a Registered Social Landlord which provides rented accommodation for people over 60 years of age. Pearce Court in Thame is a very popular residential development with a number of flats and some recreational/shared space. However, over the years it became clear that there was insufficient parking for residents as more people run their own cars, or have visitors arriving by car.
As the Housing Association had already secured planning permission for enlarging the car park, our role was to procure suitable construction firms and then subsequently project manage the works. We also carried out the contract administration.
If you have a similar project that would benefit from some professional management, then we would be very happy to discuss it – you may be surprised at how we can add value and take away a lot of the stresses of construction projects of any kind, not just extensions and new builds