Shanco Delivers Across Numerous Phases to Support Greenhead Sixth Form College’s Net Zero Redevelopment
In a significant partnership, Shanco collaborated with the Tier 1 main contractor, Galliford Try, in the construction of Greenhead Sixth Form College's pioneering Net Zero Carbon in Operation (NZCiO) school building as part of the Department for Education's School Rebuilding Programme. Throughout this £25m redevelopment of the sixth form college campus, Shanco completed a vast array of work which contributed to the successful delivery of the new modern teaching facilities, embracing sustainability principles and removing the use of non-green energy sources on site. This large project was spread over multiple phases, all of which Shanco had a major involvement in.
As works for the two college entrances along Greenhead Road and subsequent drain connections involved significant work in a sensitive area (being the College itself, local parks, a medical centre, a residential area etc.), Shanco had early engagement with Kirklees Council to discuss the proposals, technical details, suitable dates and working methods. As a result, the works were confined to College holiday dates, meaning we had strict windows of opportunity to complete the works.
The necessary S.106 works involved adding 2 separate connections on to the existing Yorkshire Water combined sewers in two separate locations. For both of the sewerage connections, Shanco compiled supporting evidence and liaised with Yorkshire Water and Kirklees Council prior to works commencing on behalf of Galliford Try. We submitted the applications for approval and obtained the S.106 approvals needed. The connections both involved a significant amount of work including excavation of more than 2.5m, navigating numerous existing services, extensive traffic management proposals and required several months of notice to the Local Authority. As with the S.278 works, operations were limited to college summer holidays and were carried out consecutively during the break. The first connection was carried out on Park Drive South which involved a full road closure due to the depth and existing sewer position. Shoring was implemented to support the excavation sides during drainage installation. The traffic and pedestrian diversion routes had to be monitored to ensure the safety of members of the public around the works. The second connection was carried out on the junction of Greenhead Road and Park Avenue, requiring both the full closure of Greenhead Road and a set of three-way traffic lights to control the remaining junction. The depth of the connection again required shoring, with the added challenge of significant existing services along the route of the new drain. Both connections were completed without incident and passed by Yorkshire Water within the set summer holiday timeframe.
Park Avenue also required the formation of a completely new entrance from the existing footpath. This phase of S.278 works began by establishing a suitable traffic management setup to ensure the safety of pedestrians, motorists and workers. The existing surface was then broken out, a reduce dig was carried out and the area was stoned up. Being a conservation area, the existing stone kerbs had to be retained and relaid as far as possible, but to achieve the required footpath width and visibility splays, a near 50m stretch of kerbs had to be removed and altered to change the kerb line. New tactile crossings were installed at both entrances and bus stops were altered at both to suit the new scheme. Stoning up and asphalt works were then carried out with new white lining placed to suit, completing the junction.
Before major works were underway Shanco dug out trial holes which confirmed the presence of BT apparatus at a shallow depth. Shanco assisted Galliford Try with navigating their agreement with BT before the existing services were exposed, lowered and protected with new split ducting and concrete capping, in accordance with the BT inspector.
The next phase of the project saw the construction of a new 130-space staff car park for the college to relocate as the existing car park was scheduled to be removed as part of the new development. Shanco incorporated a permeable drainage system to build up the parking spaces which involved using free-draining stone and permeable tarmac, facilitating surface water drainage into a perforated land drain. Additionally, Shanco installed ductwork to support electric vehicle charging points (EVCP) and lighting columns, aligning with the project's sustainability goals.
As Shanco progressed onto the main building we inherited a site that had undergone a large cut-and-fill process to reduce the formation level of the new building and create a split in elevation between the central part and the eastern part of the college campus. To support the split in levels across the site, one of our first elements of work was to cast a 350mm thick RC concrete retaining wall spanning 75 linear metres in length and standing up to 6m high. To support Galliford Try in the design and phasing process for the wall, we brought on board a specialist formwork designer and supplier who had previously built a good working relationship with us on previous projects. We then took on the management of the temporary formwork design right up until the final client approval.
The new four-storey building, standing at approximately 17 meters tall, utilises a steel frame construction with a mixture of brickwork and stonework around the envelope. To support the structure, Shanco cast large-scale pad foundations with volumes of up to 110m³ and installed internal drainage runs through these foundations. The team set holding down bolts within the foundations for future steel column placement. Due to the depth and sheer size of some of the pad foundations, we had to put serious consideration into how we would cast them safely, practically and on programme. To do so our Engineering team worked on producing drawings and details for foundations and drainage which we proposed to the structural engineer to split each pad into two pours, taking into account the levels of the drainage passing through them and effectively making them shallower and much safer to cast. Alongside the detail we produced a pour sequence plan for the client to show them how we would meet the programme dates.
To complete our first section of works on the project we went on to install the internal and external drainage and services, stone up beneath the building and cast the power-floated ground floor slab. A significant challenge during this phase was addressing the gas and waterproofing requirements. Shanco supported the client early on in the project by engaging with Visqueen directly to produce numerous water and gas-proofing details for different areas around the building which we then went on to implement using a range of other products. An independent inspection confirmed the successful implementation of these measures prior to the slab pour.
The final phase of works, following the construction of the new college block, saw Shanco complete the external hard landscaping, street furniture, and topsoiling packages. Coordinating these external finishing works alongside other contractors while also ensuring access for a busy building posed a logistical challenge. We managed to achieve this by drafting up detailed phase plans for the client, giving them a visual of the elevations and tasks we would be working on each week. A combination of both the plans and good daily communication allowed the client and ourselves to plan ahead, and ensure all external trades could complete their works on time.
To fulfil the clients' quality assurance requirements throughout the project, Shanco implemented Field View, a cloud-based construction quality control software. This platform offers a comprehensive suite of quality management, snagging, and reporting tools. Our on-site team took advantage of Field View's mobile app, enabling the recording of inspections, uploading of photos and reporting any issues all in real-time. The digitalisation of inspections and snag lists significantly streamlined processes and ensured an exceptional level of quality throughout the project.
Shanco's involvement in the Greenhead Sixth Form College redevelopment project across numerous phases exemplifies our expertise in delivering innovative, sustainable, and high-quality construction solutions. Our team’s meticulous approach to complex challenges showcases their dedication to both environmental sustainability and structural integrity. Through meticulous planning, collaboration, and the adoption of digital quality control tools like Field View, Shanco successfully supported the creation of one of the first-generation Net Zero Carbon in Operation school buildings, setting a benchmark for future infrastructure projects in the education sector.
“As we near completion of this phase of works at Greenhead College, I just wanted to give you some feedback from the project team so far, which we have passed on to my Supply Chain Manager. Throughout the tender and pre-contract process, we appreciated the input from all members of the Shanco team, notably discussions with Declan and Paddy regarding logistics, temporary works, retaining wall solutions etc. Due to the quick turnaround of information, your swift responses and attentiveness were greatly valued and enabled us to progress the works in a timely manner. From the agreement of the sub-contract, we as a team at Galliford Try have been extremely impressed with Shanco’s attitude to the works and how the problems encountered have been dealt with. Regular dialogue and great communication have been key and kept issues to a minimum. It has been refreshing to agree on changes as and when they have come to fruition on-site with Shanco’s Kate and Gerry. Indeed, at last month's contract review, our Director commented that it was great to see a groundworkers' account with so few disputed items and close to agreement prior to the completion of the works. It is a testament to the relationship between the teams within Shanco and Galliford Try and we look forward to maintaining this over the next two phases and on to further projects.”
Regards - Mark