4th April 2018

Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls

Working with Levitt Bernstein Architects, QODA Mechanical & Electrical Engineers and McCreadies cost consultants, we are the civil and structural engineers for a new £2.5M performing arts centre at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth, Wales.  We have been involved with the project since its conception in mid-2016.

The performing arts centre includes a basement, ground and first floor to be constructed in reinforced concrete, and a steelwork roof with cold rolled purlins, to create a new building for the school’s musical facilities. This includes teaching and rehearsal space, a recital hall and a fully equipped music technology suite to commemorate the school’s founding in 1892.  The new building will sit within the footprint of the existing gymnasium that has since been demolished to make way for the construction.

Due to the nature of the use, acoustic separation between adjoining rooms is of importance, therefore the building has been detailed with floating concrete floors above the structure to prevent flanking sounds between rooms. Dense blockwork partitions also prevent sound transmission.  There is additional load imposed on the structure by these details and consequently the reinforced concrete elements have been detailed to suit.

Works started on site in August 2017 with the demolition of the existing gymnasium and careful disposal of the asbestos containing materials found within the existing building.  Mass concrete footings to the new building followed, which in turn bear onto mudstone at a relatively shallow depth across the site that slopes quite steeply from west to east.  The reinforced concrete elements have been constructed as far as the underside of the first floor, with reinforcement being fixed for the first floor in January 2018.  The braced steelwork frame is expected to be erected following the striking of formwork from the first floor in February 2018.

Challenges we face on the project are the constrained site and working on the premises of an operational school.  There is limited working space available around the site so material deliveries are made on a just-in-time basis so that any free-space is maximised for working.

The project is due for completion in August 2018 for the start of the new school term.

Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls

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