Grace Cook has been designed to fit in with the surrounding residential area through the colour choices and fabric of the building. The external appearance offers visual interest and an identity for each area of the school, for example the snapped headers provide texture and the metallic cladding is aesthetically pleasing. With efficiency in mind, we adopted a fabric first approach which resulted in better U-values than required by building control. EV charging points and cycle provisions also contribute to the sustainable site.
Being a BIM Level 2 accredited business, we used our clash detection software to integrate our multi-disciplined services and reduce the design coordination time required on site. Our collaborative approach (both internally and externally with the client, contractor, end user, and Taylor Wimpy) led to the success of this project.
The project’s programme and budget were tight. With unforeseen circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic and escalating costs, our Project Manager worked hard to drive the programme and maintain the budget through value engineering, regular progress meetings, and excellent supply chain engagement.
Local residents were updated throughout the project via monthly newsletters and posters featuring QR codes to enable them to gain further information. Before the school was officially opened, children were invited to spend time on the site and find out how their new school was built. Following a community consultation, a decision was made to name the school after Alice Grace Cook, known as Grace Cook, a British Astronomer. In addition to being an inspirational role model for the pupils, the naming of the school after Stowmarket’s pioneering female astronomer provided a strong link to the history of the town.