21 MAY 2015

Completion of reference design Lairdsland Primary School

Design and construction achieve 'Perfect Delivery'.

Robbie McKillop, director for public sector at design and engineering company, BakerHicks (formerly Morgan Sindall Professional Services) was delighted to see the official hand over of Lairdsland Primary School on 20th May 2015 to celebrate the completion of the sustainably-built facility.

Project background

In early 2012, and following a competitive tender, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) invited two architects to separately design a reference primary school as part of a collaborative project with East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC). The design chosen was by London architects Walters & Cohen. The reference designs were developed to replace the existing Lairdsland Primary School in Kirkintilloch, as part of the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme and EDC’s Primary School Improvement Programme. The chosen design responds to the requirements of Curriculum for Excellence providing spaces to support all aspects of the curriculum. Hub West Scotland (hWS), development partner for East Dunbartonshire Council, were appointed in 2012, after the completion of the stage C design, to deliver the new Lairdsland School for East Dunbartonshire Council.

hWS appointed the remainder of the design team including BakerHicks, the multidisciplinary design and engineering company, to provide mechanical and electrical and BREEAM services. One of the key principles BakerHicks brought to the successful design of the school was passive energy efficient solutions including under floor heating, solar power and a biomass boiler. The school is also expected to achieve an 'Excellent' BREEAM rating and an EPC rating of B+.

The two-storey linear building runs along the Forth and Clyde Canal, which is an ancient monument. It has 11 flexibly-designed classrooms to support curriculum for excellence with a variety of spaces including: formal learning areas, project based learning, small group, display, presentation and specialist spaces and outdoor learning as well as spaces for sport and socialising. The location of the school hall also means it can be used after hours without allowing access to the remainder of the school, key to the wider community engagement.

Perfect Delivery

As the project’s main contractors, Morgan Sindall invited feedback from clients East Dunbartonshire Council and Hub West Scotland as part of an ongoing commitment to accommodating clients’ requirements regarding timescales, design coordination, budgets and key deliverables. ‘Perfect Delivery’ was achieved by completing the design efficiently and delivering the project safely, on time, snag free, and with a customer that would recommend the service and rate themselves as ‘delighted’.

Robbie says that Lairdsland is an exceptional school design to add to the BakerHicks portfolio:

"The school’s aesthetics are outstanding, all design and construction goals were achieved, and we are extremely pleased to have delivered a school with a design that supports the ideals of modern primary school learning, while incorporating sustainability."

The project has been a huge success and has been the catalyst for many other school designs. The idea is not to replicate Lairdsland, which responds to a very specific site, but to utilise the reference design principles to create scalable and adaptable designs bespoke to their own sites. BakerHicks, building upon the experience gained from delivering the reference design, are delivering many more schools for hWS including Bellsmyre Primary School, Lenzie and St Patricks Primary School, which all utilise the Lairdsland Primary School reference design principles.