Kent County Council (KCC) is the largest Local Education Authority in England and they have recently received £31 million capital funding from the Department for Education (DfE) for their 2015 schools programme. As part of their programme KCC are looking to commission five new primary schools, build extensions to eight primary schools and extend/refurbish seven special needs schools by September 2015. This is in addition to a number of other small extensions across their schools network.
Having been appointed through our Scape National Asset Management, Surveying and Design Services Framework as the lead consultant, Faithful+Gould is providing full multi-disciplinary design and consultancy services. We have picked up 13 schools on the programme; five new primary schools and a number of one form of entry expansions, creating approximately 2,300 additional pupil places. In addition, Kevin and his team are undertaking feasibility studies on two large special education needs schools.
The appointment puts Faithful+Gould at the forefront of a major requirement by KCC to embrace the Education Funding Agency (EFA) baseline designs as the template for school design.
The appointment puts Faithful+Gould at the forefront of a major requirement by KCC to embrace the Education Funding Agency (EFA) baseline designs as the template for school design. Faithful+Gould acted as lead advisor to the EFA in the development of the 'baseline designs' in response to the James Review of Education Capital (PDF, 2.4MB). The review called for a suite of standardised drawings and specifications which could be applied across a wide range of educational facilities.
In line with the EFA baseline design guidelines, the KCC projects will follow a ‘kit of parts’ approach for standardisation, focussing on providing consistent materials throughout the programme. The selection of items such as windows, roofing, external elevations, M&E equipment and doors will be streamlined in order to not only deliver efficiencies in construction procurement but also longer term maintenance and lifecycle savings. This is KCC’s preferred approach rather than modular construction but innovative materials and construction techniques are being considered by the team.
"This is a major win for Tunbridge Wells and Faithful+Gould; not only in terms of scale of the programme but in providing the opportunity to forge new links in Kent."
Kevin Williams, Faithful+Gould's Regional Director
The programme of works will have a direct impact on the local economy in Kent and Faithful+Gould has played a key role in influencing this. Kevin and his team undertook a procurement exercise that involved tendering the design elements to local Kent based consultants – localism is high on Kent's agenda and we have fully embraced this. As a result, Faithful+Gould will be working alongside a local supply chain that will have the opportunity to tap into knowledge and expertise that is hot off the press from the EFA.
In response to his team's recent appointment on KCC’s schools programme; Kevin comments, "This is a major win for Tunbridge Wells and Faithful+Gould; not only in terms of scale of the programme but in providing the opportunity to forge new links in Kent. We have been afforded the ability to share our knowledge and expertise with a key client for the business and also our local Kent supply chain partners".
"Using Faithful+Gould's expertise with the baseline EFA schemes enables KCC to get to the market quickly and involve local companies in our solutions, providing opportunities for our residents and businesses."
Kent County Council
The client is equally excited about Faithful+Gould's appointment stating; "KCC are delighted to be working with Faithful+Gould in this important programme. We are keen on innovative solutions and using our purchasing power to ensure that Kent School children get the best possible schools at affordable prices and are educated in buildings which are sustainable for years to come. Using Faithful+Gould's expertise with the baseline EFA schemes enables KCC to get to the market quickly and involve local companies in our solutions, providing opportunities for our residents and businesses."
The scope of the project will also include post occupancy evaluation with soft landings being the new framework we are all working towards. Faithful+Gould is also implementing basic level BIM on the projects to deliver added value in the design process.