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A state-of-the-art sixth form centre

Kettering Science Academy

This project expanded Kettering Science Academy to accommodate more students by creating new teaching and breakout spaces for sixth formers. Designed with a full height light-filled atrium, the new building is equipped to a high specification with accommodation over three floors including classrooms, a lecture theatre, study space and socialising and eating facilities.

Colleagues from Pick Everard kept the project on track and trust and Kettering Science Academy colleagues have been involved at every level. I do genuinely think that this is a triumph of teamwork at a time when lots of things were coming to a halt. I was hugely impressed with your resolve and ingenuity.

Dr Andrew Campbell

Brooke Weston Trust chief executive

We carefully considered design options to manage the visual impact of the new block and to allow it to be constructed with minimal impact to the school’s normal operations. We explored several different positions, layouts and configurations, outlining the issues, opportunities and costs of each; this allowed us to establish the optimum solution. The location chosen for development on the site meant the building would front onto the same road as the existing school, to the satisfaction of planning officers.

Sustainable designs to minimise energy usage were achieved through a heavyweight building mass to reduce internal temperature variations; high performance glazing to minimise heat gains; and natural ventilation supplemented by mechanical ventilation on hot days.

Gaining planning permission posed a potential risk in that the site on which Kettering Science Academy sits is close to residential properties. A further risk posed by the site was that the existing school was surrounded by an embankment with a reasonably steep downward incline. This meant much of the space with potential for development would have required significant earthworks.

The onset of the pandemic caused problems with materials supplies. The team immediately explored resequencing works and securing alternative suppliers to meet the requirement for completion by October 2020. It was completed within 62 weeks despite the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Resequencing in response to the pandemic involved bringing forward external groundworks and external finishes. First-fix services installations were completed before walls were in place. Internal decorative blockwork was delayed until materials could be obtained and designs were changed where required. This collaborative effort ensured the major risk caused by Covid was mitigated such that the project only incurred a four-week delay and a cost increase of just £169,000.

Key info


Brooke Weston Trust




Architecture, Civil engineering, Landscape architecture, Structural engineering


Cost and commercial management, Health and safety services, Project and programme management





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