Case Study


The Birches SEN Primary School

West Didsbury, Manchester

Manchester City Council
West Didsbury, Manchester
January 2014
August 2014
Form of Contract
Delivery Type
Design & Build

Additional classrooms including external play space and the refurbishment of existing areas within the school which caters for 2-11 year olds with learning difficulties including PMLD (Profound Multiple Learning Difficulty) and BESD (Behavioural Education and Social Difficulty).

  • Programme constraints and the need to minimise disruption to the school led to the decision to use an off-site manufactured solution – concrete modular build.
  • An intense design period ensured that all requirements were incorporated into the design and that manufacturing target dates were achieved.
  • The programme was developed through early engagement with the school to minimise disruption, and this enabled the new building to be erected in less than two weeks.


School Engagement and Social Value

  • A H&S assembly was provided at the start of the project to help identify risks and teach the importance of not playing on a building site, followed by a H&S DVD and a ‘what have you learnt?’ exercise.
  • Daily meetings with the Head Teacher were held to accommodate pupils’ needs and any H&S concerns were addressed promptly.
  • Community site visits were conducted giving an insight into construction and how different trades contribute. Due to the success of the first visit, a second one was also arranged. Teachers were also given site tours throughout various stages of the build.
  • An apprentice working towards NVQ Level 2 successfully completed a placement and was able to progress to another scheme.
  • A successful ‘Meet the Buyer’ event was held to attract small local businesses, providing local opportunities.