Photo of building exterior
Photo of building interior and staircase

Image credits: Richard Chivers, Pilbeam Construction, Gyoury Self

Project Description

Client: Varndean College
Location: Brighton, East Sussex
Year Completed: 2020
Project Value: £2.9m
Contractor: Pilbeam Construction
Architect: The Seaman Partnership
M&E Engineers: Crofton Consulting

The new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics centre houses four science labs on the ground floor and six classrooms on the first floor. One of the labs and one classroom is classed as accessible, with the first floor used by the special educational needs unit. The building features an eye-catching atrium and lobby area.

The 2-storey building has been constructed using a steel frame with composite concrete upper floor. The ground floor is suspended reinforced concrete, supported on reinforced concrete beams and piles.

Gyoury Self provided full structural and civil engineering services for the project. All engineering work was carried out using Revit and in collaboration with project partners within the BIM environment.

The Challenges

In terms of engineering, the project presented a rather unusual challenge as the new building is located directly above a network of WWII air raid shelters! So the structure had to be designed to bridge over the shelters, and as shallow as possible to avoid making contact with them.

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