18th August 2021

New Structure

The thin V columns threaded through the existing floor in the Transmission Block carry all the loads from the new upper floors down into the new piled foundations, allowing the historic beams to remain in situ and avoiding adding load to the historic structure.

Above the original floor the structure is tied together horizontally, and extended right up to roof level, separated from the external walls with thermal breaks to avoid cold-bridges and allow for the installation of the internal insulation later in the programme.

In the Admin Wing at first trial installation of the Pavatex insulation system is trialled. Installed after the brickwork has been repaired, this consists of a lime plaster levelling coat, followed by a lime plaster parge coat, to provide an airtight barrier, and rigid woodwool boards bedded in lime plaster. These are faced in Fermacell boards. The whole build-up has no voids and is moisture-open, allowing moisture vapour to move through the the historic walls, thus avoiding moisture and condensation related damage.

Elsewhere some of the new openings are being formed in the immensely thick brickwork of the Transmission block walls. These are first simply sawn, allowing the masons to create the openings quickly before they carefully form the facing brick around the openings.

Meanwhile the frames of the new blocks are being erected, with the volumes of the new blocks rapidly taking shape – including the huge volume of the new Sports Hall.

By the end of July, the new floors have been cast in the Transmission Block, creating the new space for the school and the steelworkers, MQM, have installed the new upper stairs into the voids at each end at each end, providing immediate safe access to each level.

At the top of the Transmission Block the structure is topped out, ready to accept the new walls and roof of the top floor.