Ashmole Primary School

Southgate, London Borough of Barnet

Project Details


Project Manager

Blue Sky

Morgan Sindall

£7.5 million

Contract Period
60 weeks

Procurement Type
Design & Build

Form of Contract
JCT 2011DB

2,184 sqm

Work Experience Placements

Project Brief

A new-build 2FE school providing a permanent new home for Ashmole Primary School. The school created 420 places for pupils aged 4 to 11 and provides teaching space for KS1 and KS2 along with offices, a sports hall, canteen and car park.
The works were separated into two phases – the school and the car park. Phase 1 of the build, the school, needed to be handed over by the end of August 2018 to allow occupation for the new school year and Phase 2, the car park, was completed in December 2018 after the school had been handed over.
There was BIM Level 2 requirement for the project and Morgan Sindall worked with the client and end user to tailor their requirements to the project needs. The project was designed to BIM Level 2 with clash detection workshops and extensive use of the BIM model to de-risk the design. Off-site construction was central to the delivery of the new school building and was constructed using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) which reduced the traditional frame build by 5 weeks.

“The on-site management team’s highly professional and collaborative approach enabled the new building to be completed on a demanding programme to a high standard of quality ready for the school to occupy.”

“We are all very pleased with our new building since we moved into the new facilities in September 2018. The building allows us to fulfil our vision to promote the very best standards in education for all our primary school children. The pupils, staff and parents are all very happy that we have our new school”.

Community Engagement


  • Morgan Sindall also provided the school with a community room so they could store equipment from the re-located school. This meant the school didn’t incur any additional storage costs and still maintained the building sequence.

Work Experience

  • Seven work experience placements provided through the project

Key Challenges

The risk was quantified and a management plan was put in place to remove these from the site. Any delay that this caused was mitigated through careful programming.

To get the school opened on time, the sequencing and programme were changed to accelerate the build, to ensure the original end date was met whilst still maintaining high level of quality assurance.

A sample classroom was completed and high levels of quality assurance were strictly monitored. This ensured the project was handed over on time on the original target completion date.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • Morgan Sindall started work on the project from the beginning of RIBA Stage 3 (Developed Design) and a single designer was used for the architectural and MEPH design (Blue Sky), with the structural design carried out by the Structural Insulates Panels (SIPs) subcontractor (Innovare). Using a single source for the architectural and MEPH design meant that internal coordination between the two design elements was carried out more frequently, therefore reducing the number of clashes between these two disciplines identified during coordination meetings.  The SIPs subcontractor used a different native software to the rest of the design team, which initially meant there were issues between the file exporting process to enable full coordination; however the project Information Manager (IM) was able to help mitigate this export issue.
  • A model was used during the finishes selection process to help the client and end user to visualise the proposal. This was done by showing a fly-through of the preferred proposal during a client engagement meeting along with still renders (images) of the key areas taken directly from the Project Information Model (PIM). This helped the end user picture how the colours would work with lighting and spaces.

Our Learnings

  • The project manager was assigned to the project for a further three months after handover to ease the transition and aid with aftercare matters. The facilities manager said he found this particularly helpful for getting snags resolved in a timely manner.
  • An Asset Information Model (AIM) containing the architectural, civil, structural and FF&E designs was produced. All operations and maintenance data was linked to the equipment in the model, ensuring supporting information was easily accessible. The school mentioned that the AIM would be of great use for contractors understanding the design of the building when carrying out any works in the future, as well as quickening the process of locating the relevant building information.
  • Using the innovative Class 0 fire-rated Marley Eternit Cedral Click cladding system ensured that the most up to to date fire regulations (post-Grenfell Tower) were met.

Value Added

  • Morgan Sindall partnered with sister company Baker Hicks, a multi-disciplinary design and engineering company, to utilise Microsoft Hololens mixed reality headset to perform installation checks. This meant that the team was able to project their live construction BIM model onto the mechanical, electrical and public health (MEPH) installations on the site. A customised app was also developed, enabling the team to view and interrogate a section of the projects MEPH. To review the digital asset against the built asset, a holographic review of the MEPH was carried out on the services running along the main corridor to the ground floor to check alignment.
  • Using SCF approved materials suppliers e.g. Bauder
  • Local labour and an Employment & Skills Plan were in place on the project and were adopted by the supply chain
  • 91.5% SME spend and 63% local supply chain spend
  • Understanding the client’s key drivers of taking possession of the school at the end of August 2018 to ensure they were ready for the start of the new school year in September.