Engineering for education – King’s School, Bruton, Somerset
Working with Levitt Bernstein Architects, we are the Civil and Structural Engineers for a new music school at King’s School in Bruton, Somerset. King’s Bruton is an independent secondary school, founded in 1519.
The new music school building includes a one-storey teaching area which is constructed with load-bearing blockwork walls and timber joists supporting a green roof. The building also includes a two-storey atrium, a recording studio and a double-height recital hall with balcony for concerts. These areas have been constructed using a braced steel frame. One of the main challenges our team faced was to meet the high acoustic insulation requirements, particularly important as there are so many adjacent music areas. To address this, we have provided details such as angled timber joist hangers. These ensure that the timber joists do not penetrate the angled blockwork walls and transfer sound.
We have been involved in the project since it began in early 2016 and work began on site during Summer 2017, with the majority of the structure now erected. During Summer 2018, the building will be completed and the final part of the project, which involves stabilizing the adjacent historic river retaining wall on the River Brue, will be carried out. This stone wall has suffered lateral movement over time and currently leans towards the river; we have designed a stabilisation system consisting of steel rods to tie the wall back to the edge ground beam of the new music school building. The historic stone wall will be rebuilt vertically above ground, using the original stone. Given the historic value of the wall and its proximity to a Grade II Listed Headmasters’ Tower, the intention is to keep the wall visually as close as possible to its current condition.