Beavering away as exceptionally considerate constructors

Exceptional levels of consideration demonstrated during school improvement works project funded by Heathrow Airports Limited

Kier Construction Southern’s project team achieved outstanding standards of consideration on their Beavers Primary School project in Arundel Road, Hounslow, London.

The works at the primary school were part of a scheme funded by Heathrow Airports Limited (HAL) to install new mechanical fresh air ventilation to all schools located within the noise curtilage area of Heathrow Airport. The overall project incorporated five schools within the London Borough of Hounslow.

Under the Heathrow flight path

The fourth school to be completed under the scheme, Beavers Primary School lies directly under the flight path of Heathrow. Works comprised noise attenuation and fresh air ventilation to all teaching areas and classrooms, while the school remained fully operational throughout the 20-week programme.

Outlining the work Site Manager, Owen Higgins, said: “This site was restricted as there was not much space available in which to position our site compound. We put measures in place to segregate our workforce from the pupils by installing our staircase and access to the roof inside our compound.

“We organised letter drops to be sent out to neighbouring, mainly residential, properties informing them of the works, when they were going to take place and also information of the works we were undertaking inside the school.

“Our workforce was security cleared before any work commenced on site. All site operatives had numbered hi-vis vests with I.D badges attached. We also provided the school with a list of all operatives, along with their DBS numbers and photos.”

Examples of best practice

Owen highlights some of the ways the team incorporated the requirements of the Scheme into their working practices:

  • As the area in close proximity of the school has limited parking facilities, measures were introduced to avoid taking up any residents’ parking areas. This was difficult to enforce as there were no parking restrictions. We briefed all operatives before starting onsite and, as a result, they parked a short distance away from the school.
  • A traffic management plan for all suppliers and deliveries was scheduled and organisations were told they could not deliver during busy school periods and that they must ring 30 minutes before arriving.
  • We held an assembly at the school with our mascots Kieran and Kiera and we also gave each of the children a reflector to clip onto their school bags.
  • We were in daily contact with the school, informing them of our progress and upcoming activities

Addressing project challenges

Owen details how the team overcame any challenges faced in relation to the community, environment or the workforce on this project:

  • We held several meetings with the school to discuss logistics, as we had to place two temporary classrooms on site before any work commenced. Through discussions with the supplier, we came up with a solution to construct the temporary classrooms in six sections for easier transportation and erection.
  • All plant was craned into position from the back of the school. The route had to be tracked to take the weight of the crane and support vehicles and this trackway was around 1000 meters long.
  • These were brought in without causing any disruption to the neighbours and all plant was situated in the front playground. This was lifted onto the roof by the self-erecting tower crane, due to the closeness to the airport.
  • All permits and permissions were sought well in advance and neighbours were informed by newsletter.
  • We removed all plant from within the school during the summer holidays so as not to cause any disruption when the staff and pupils returned in September

Benefits of Scheme registration

Commenting on the positives of Scheme registration, Owen said: “The Scheme is improving the image of construction by giving the community a better understanding of what we are all trying to achieve with our projects.

“By taking pride in our external appearance we enhanced the image of the industry and left a positive impression on the school and surrounding residents. The Scheme has helped by giving us a very good and knowledgeable Monitor advised us on improving our project in line with the CCS suggestions.