RICS Social Impact Awards 2020

We are delighted to confirm that our project Astrea Academy in Sheffield has been shortlisted for the RICS Social Impact Awards 2020 in the Education category. https://www.rics.org/uk/training-events/rics-awards/ These awards are the only nationally recognised awards programme that show the impact our built environment has on people’s lives. They highlight excellence at a regional and national level, identifying the projects making a positive difference. The category winners and Project of the Year winner will be announced at the awards on the 5th June 2020. Well done to everyone involved with this...

Completion of Dixons Academy Douglas Mill Building

Last week we handed over the remaining three floors at Dixons Academy in Bradford five weeks ahead of programme. Formerly known as Douglas Mill, the mill was most recently used as NHS office accommodation until 2018, when the NHS vacated the building and it was bought by Department for Education (DfE) for Dixons Academies Trust. The DfE’s and Trust’s aim was to create the first sixth form unaffiliated with a school in Bradford. It was decided that Douglas Mill was the ideal building for this, being able to accommodate 880 pupils. The mill itself had been refurbished as recently as 2005 and remained in relatively good condition. Soft demolition was required to all floors, removing existing partitions and internal fixtures, installing infrastructure for the science labs and replacement of carpets and decoration. Features like kinetic light switches have also been installed. These are programmed to specific rooms and are charged by people walking past and the switching on and off of the light. These switches require no cabling direct to the light fitting. There were some structural challenges in the mill. Steel had to be installed within the 1m thick external walls for the provision of disproportionate collapse. The building also wasn’t square. All the walls were at slightly different angles, as expected from an 1840s building. The existing walls and vaulted, curved soffits were left on show, providing a unique and vibrant learning space for students. The project continues on site with the refurbishment of the coach house and the creation of a new sports hall, both of which are due to be completed in March. Dixons Academies...

Kier to deliver £15m leisure centre in Yorkshire

Kier has been appointed by Kirklees Council to deliver a £15m leisure centre in Liversedge, West Yorkshire. The project has been procured through the YORbuild2 framework. Spen Valley Leisure Centre will be built on the site of the original Spenborough Pool and will include a two-storey, two-pool complex. It will have a double-height foyer which will lead to wet changing areas as well as multi-activity space. There will be a mezzanine with dry changing areas, a gym, exercise studios and spectator seating. The project is due to start on site in early 2020 and the new facility is due to open in the autumn of 2021. This will be followed by the demolition of the existing fitness suite, releasing further external works with final completion anticipated at the end of 2021. Phil McDowell, operations director at Kier Regional Building Northern, said: “We have a lot of experience in delivering leisure centres across the country and are thrilled to be working with Kirklees Council to deliver the brand-new Spen Valley Leisure Centre. “The proposed new all-purpose facility reflects the desire to bring the leisure offer on the site up to current standards in a building of high quality, and to bring swimming and fitness under the one roof. It will provide a modern environment, with an efficient, simple layout and improved access to ensure it is accessible for all.” This latest win for Kier reinforces its position as a leading provider of leisure complex’s. It is currently on site delivering a £42m school and leisure development in Ponteland which includes a six-lane 25m swimming pool, a gym, climbing wall and...

PET MRI – Scanner Installation

On Sunday 2nd February we were on site at PET MRI to oversee the delivery and installation of the PET MRI scanner. The scanner is a £4.5m worth piece of kit and weighed 8.7 tonnes to lift. To enable these works to happen, a road closure for the whole weekend was applied for through the Council. A readiness check was undertaken on the Thursday before to ensure the building was acceptable and this had been 4-5 weeks in planning. The scaffolding was erected on Saturday 1st February and as it projects onto the road we needed the two day closure. At 7am the crane team arrived on site and got set up and in place in time for the scanner to arrive at around 9am. Once the scanner was on site, the hole was opened in the building on the first floor. Although the teams were not our contractors and not employed by Kier, they were on our site, so controls had to be in place for this. The lift of the scanner was a slow and very controlled process and took around 1 hour to complete. Once the scanner was lifted onto the scaffold platform, the task began to move it into its exact place within the room, which is calculated by engineers. Once in place, the magnet needed to be connected to a power source straight away due to the liquid helium in the machine which keeps the magnet under control. If we have lost power, it would have cost circa £30k to get it up and running again. In order to protect the scanner while the...

Park Hill Flats in Sheffield

We have been on site at Park Hill Flats since February 2019 undertaking the refurbishment of a section of the Grade II listed building. The scheme includes the full refurbishment of the site which will provide 356 bedrooms for students studying in Sheffield. In December the scaffold started to come down to reveal the new façade of the building and along with this we have completed a show flat for the client. Take a look at the drone footage below to see what’s happening on site at present. Learn more about this project: ...

Park Hill Flats – Time Capsule Burial and Show Flat

On 12 December 2019, we held a time capsule event at Park Hill Flats in Sheffield. The time capsule was filled in June, and contains items from Kier, Alumno, Whittam Cox and S1 Artspace and had been left unsealed so other objects could be added. The event on was attended by Alumno, Places for People, and Whittam Cox Architects, and the capsule was buried near one of Park Hill’s retaining walls. Representatives from Alumno, Places for People and Whittam Cox Architects were also given a site visit with a tour of the new show flat. We are aiming to complete Park Hill for the new student intake September 2020, with site works currently progressing well. Recently the first show unit was completed and as the scaffold is starting to be removed, the external facade of the building is being...