We are often asked what makes our approach to delivering education facilities so successful? We know from HEAD research by Professor Peter Barrett that great school design helps improve classroom learning by up to 16%. This is something we discussed in this recent post.
However, how do we at Chawton Hill deliver exceptional education facilities?
1. Project Planning
We place paramount importance on getting things right from the start of every commission. This means every project, no matter how big or small must have a project delivery plan. This will ensure our clients know what it is we will be doing for them and when. Our ISO 9001:2015 certification means that we follow set and approved procedures to enhance our service delivery. We aim to ensure all schemes are completed in the most effective and consistent way possible.
As members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors we have professional standards of conduct to follow to ensure we avoid conflicts of interest and always provide sound, impartial advice. We are particularly keen to review carefully each project. Did it deliver? Were there areas that could have been improved? Are students and teachers happy with the outcome?
It is by applying this collective knowledge built up over years and hundreds of school design projects, that we are able to offer a specialist solution that minimises risks and maximises value.
3. Procurement of project work
We always tender building projects to a range of contractors to ensure best value for money. The process ensures we have a credible range of figures for discussion. Contractors are selected for their ability to produce good quality work. They must show sound experience of working within the education sector, and understanding of schools’ expectations around project delivery. Issues such as access constraints and working sensitively around occupied school accommodation are key.
You will of course be looking for exceptional value for money. Chawton Hill can provide a range of commercial solutions, including lump sum fee quotations or percentage fees, based on contract values. Our hourly rates reflect our competitive position in the market place and we are flexible in meeting particular requirements of the client.
5. Green Ratings
When specified, we have achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’ on many commissions and are always looking to incorporate effective green technologies such as:
- Photovoltaic Cells – providing the school with reduced energy costs, and an attractive feed-in tariff rate when electricity is sold back to the electricity company.
- Rainwater Harvesting – collecting water from the surface water system filtering it and reusing it for ‘grey water’ purposes including whole site watering, flushing of toilets and vehicle wash purposes.
- Energy Monitoring Systems – providing gas and electric energy monitoring systems to record and display the usage of energy.
- Water Control Systems – providing solenoid-controlled water systems to turn off water supplies to unused areas of buildings avoiding ‘dead legs’ of unused pipework and reducing the risks of leaks going unnoticed in lesser used parts of the building.
- Low VOC Materials – using materials that are less harmful to the environment by selecting low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) materials.
- Material Selection – selecting locally sourced materials where ever possible to avoid long vehicle movements, higher transport costs thus reducing the carbon footprint wherever possible.
Our 20+ years of experience, has seen Chawton Hill deliver a wide range of specialist education facilities such as:
- An Equestrian Centre
- An All Weather Hockey pitch
- A lacrosse pitch
- A Performing Arts Centre
- Art Rooms
- Music Suites and specialist practice rooms
- New Kitchens and Dining Facilities
- General Teaching Spaces
- Special Educational Needs Centres
In all cases, we have a proven track record in obtaining Planning Permission for education developments in the Green Belt.
If you are looking to develop your school, college or academy, we would be delighted to help. Please Contact Us for an informal discussion. Also, see our ‘top tips for schools projects‘ for more helpful advice.