Woodcote High School

ThermoServ have specialised in the delivery of commercial mechanical and electrical works for over 40 years maintaining a presence within the education sector with over 400 schools currently in the contract covering the London and South East of England. We have delivered mechanical and electrical projects every year steadily increasing both scopes of works and capacity to meet our client's demands especially with our exposure to the Condition Improvement Fund process in 2017 where we worked closely with a number of schools and academies who met the criteria for funding to develop a business case for project capital investment funded through the condition improvement fund to allow improvements to the school's infrastructure and main services throughout the properties. One of the best examples of us working with multiple businesses in delivering the business case and scope of works was working with Wilby and Burnett and Barker Associates and Woodcote High School.

The journey started in 2018 as an existing client we were contacted by the school and Barker Associates to review the previous years heating and hot water repair issues, to walk the school to identify specific issues that had arisen through the year and start to build a case for the condition improvement fund grant with a view of helping the school to bring their aged assets and infrastructure up to date and allow better performance across the school and deliver reliable heating and hot water for the teachers and students. The condition investment fund bid was submitted, and the fund granted the allocation of funding to the school to proceed with the phased improvement works which started with a multi-disciplined approach to include the scope of works below which started in July 2019 and went through to October 2019 with Phase 1 works:

Site compound and storage 

Zone 1 – Main Plantroom

  • Construction of new tank room to allow installation of new tanks
  • Decommission of calories and installation of new
  • Re-pipe kitchen infrastructure above the main plant room

Zone 2 – Tank Works

  • New infrastructure pipework throughout the main hall and stage area
  • Decommissioning of old unvented cylinders and installation of new
  • Connection of new booster tanks
  • Chlorinate, insulate and hand over both Zone 1 and 2 

Zone 3 – Staff welfare facilities phase 1 

  • Decommission old cold water booster tanks and replace them with new
  • Remove all redundant pipework throughout the staff welfare facilities and teaching wing
  • Chlorinate, insulate and hand over Zone 3
  • Zones 4, 5, 6 and 7 had a similar scope of works as Zone 3 although the locations were within different areas of the school.
  • Whilst the above was the bulk of the mechanical works we needed to consider the additional scope of works which was the construction of new toilet facilities for male students and both female and male staff toilets which consisted of new stud walls to be erected to allow the installation of bespoke manufactured welfare blocks to all three locations, the scope of works below:
  • Strip existing infrastructure
  • Installation of Services 1st fix to allow follow on works.
  • Creation of stud walls to urinal area and concealed cisterns for all-male welfare locations
  • Installation of toilet pans and waste connections
  • Installation of White Rock wall finishing to all welfare locations.
  • Installation of ultra-flooring allowing for different colour options for staff toilets.
  • Installation of vanity units and bespoke cubicle systems to all locations
  • Installation of new suspended ceiling and lighting throughout.
  • Second Fix plumbing and electrics to allow handover.

The ability to manage various trades throughout the project was managed by both Ed Wragg our dedicated Operations Manager for the Education and Public building Sector and Jason Bishop who heads up our major planned works. The management team implemented our standard processes for planned works and introduced all scope of works through dedicated teams by skillset and set out a specific project induction from the outset which allowed all cross over of skills and scope to know exactly when and where their working area was to be through the project with daily updates on arrival to the site to keep all resource aware of their daily work cycles and also to maintain awareness of programme delivery.

The management team was split by trade to allow the flow of works to be achieved with no programme delay which was demonstrated with high client satisfaction which also allowed the school and Barker Associates to focus on Phase two works which would form part of the 2020 condition improvement fund bid which again was granted and included the main heating and hot water generation plant covering all three plant rooms within the school, the main plant room, Humanities plant room and the Art and Music plant room. The works started in September 2020 through to Jan 2021. Whilst the scope of works are within the mechanical and electrical scope the management team had to consider additional resources to allow all works to be completed within a tight timeframe and consideration of the Coronavirus pandemic which meant that we had to allow additional space for our employees which also had a huge impact when managing the sequencing of works for the programme of works with additional resource and maintaining social distancing and with a number of staff members and students present throughout the first 8 weeks of the project itself.

Working with Woodcote and the two consultants has proven to be extremely satisfying for all parties with the project being delivered in two phases, within budget and managing a variety of workstreams and tradesmen throughout the 18-month period albeit not continuously on site. One of the biggest achievements to date at Woodcote is the level of works completed within a relatively tight timeframe whilst safeguarding all operatives with zero coronavirus transmission and or outbreak issues which is testament to the level of adherence to detail the management team have shown through a very challenging period for all key stakeholders.

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