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Helix Classroom - Bedmond, Hertfordshire

Client Name:

Bedmond School

Requirement

This busy primary school wanted to create a cookery room. The only real estate available to them however, was a small courtyard within the school complex, which purportedly housed chickens at one time! So, space was tight, the budget was even tighter and the room to be created need to have both disabled access and a disabled toilet. In addition, all the services required for the kitchen, which was to be fitted retrospectively by a separate company, needed to be in place.
Inevitable as with any public place, especially a school, there were ‘Planning’ issues to address. Garden spaces worked very closely with the staff to ensure the design was acceptable to the local Planning Department. (Schools can qualify for permitted development but still need consent from the council). We also ensured that the internal floor space of the building did not exceed 30 square meters, so as to avoid a further layer of regulation. (Building a space above 30 square meters does not pose a problem but requires a different level of building regulation that would have effected overall costs).

Our Solution

This build was a result of immense effort on the part of the school, including fund raising events, coupled with close liaison with Garden spaces throughout. The design of the building was revised a number of times to ensure it came in on budget and was acceptable to the Planning Officers. Despite this tight budget we incorporated not only the disabled toilet and ramp access but a substantial walkway with a large over hang to shelter the children from the elements. Also included was floor to ceiling glazing on dual aspects of the room to maximise light and give an airy spacious feel to the room. Other key features important to any school included thermal efficiency, safety and security and low maintenance: • UPVc frames in anthracite (grey) that not only look fantastic but are maintenance free. • Western red cedar cladding - a beautiful hard wood, able to withstand the elements naturally for many decades, without maintenance. • Argon filled A rated glazing is which, in partnership with the thermally efficient SIPs (structurally insulated panel system) construction, minimises energy (cost) required to maintain correct temperatures. • Finger protectors were fitted to French doors and windows to prevent accidents. All windows are key lockable and French doors fitted with high security 5 point locking. All glazing is of toughened glass. The school were delighted with their lovely courtroom cookery classroom.