School expansion project client

In 2022, the Streif UK team was involved in the design and build of Oakwood School’s expansion project. Working with Morgan Sindall (main contractor) and Pellings LLP (architect), this was our second sustainable building project for Surrey County Council. The new build aligned with their 2030 community vision to provide everyone with the education needed to succeed in life while ensuring a greener future for residents.

School expansion project brief

As Oakwood School planned to accommodate 1650 pupils by 2023, a larger teaching space was needed to support the existing building.

Oakwood’s expansion continued the council’s aim to provide school places in a more sustainable way, after the opening of Westvale Park Academy in 2020. A school expansion project where we worked with the same project team – Morgan Sindall and Pellings.

School expansion project solution and process

A new two-storey teaching block was constructed using our advanced closed timber panel system. This offered the council a winning blend of sustainable building benefits:

  • Ecologically sound materials
  • Low environmental impact
  • High energy-efficiency

Offsite manufacturing of our closed timber panel frame meant the onsite construction was quicker and better quality, producing minimal waste. Lifting and installation took our small and efficient team just nine weeks, with the normal challenges of working on a confined site in a live school environment.

To provide superior airtightness and insulation, the timber wall panels were factory-fitted with Rationel AURAPLUS windows and doors. This follows a fabric first approach, aligning with the client’s low energy and sustainable aspirations.

The new building was finished externally with facing brickwork and Equitone cladding. The brickwork not only matched the existing school buildings but also gave an extra robust layer to protect the structure, which was located next to the play areas. While the cladding helped link the existing construction with our new build.

School expansion project key challenges

There were a couple of challenges when delivering our building systems to site and lifting during installation. But the Streif UK team overcame these to successfully delivery the project on programme.

We carefully planned all deliveries for this Surrey school expansion. Access was restricted and we were working in a busy learning environment during term-time.

The site’s proximity to Gatwick Airport was an issue when it came to lifting. We applied to the airport authority for a permit before we started works to ensure our operations complied with their restrictions.

School expansion project results

This sustainable school expansion project was praised by Morgan Sindall, Surrey County Council and Oakwood School. It was Streif UK’s second project for the council, after the delivery of Westvale Park Primary Academy, and it further cemented our relationship with the client, main contractor and architect.

The Streif UK team overcame the site’s restricted access issues to deliver another sustainable learning environment of exceptional quality for a Surrey school.

Contact us to discuss your own sustainable new build.