Working together, safely, was central to enabling one construction team to deliver a £19.5m new school build project on time, ahead of usual schedules.

The team from main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, in partnership with Gilberts Blackpool, at Ealing Fields High School in West London overcame the impact of COVID on site working to still deliver the bespoke screening louvres in less than three months from initial order to installation compared to the programmed 15 weeks. Thus the project was completed in time for the official handover date and school re-opening.

In that time, Gilberts designed, supplied and installed the bespoke WGK75 louvres to create plant ventilation screening 1.55m high x up to 20.7m long, with a double door section to allow access for plant maintenance etc. The louvres are mounted, using the Big Foot non-penetrative support system, on the flat roofs of the new two- and three-storey teaching and sports block, adjoining the refurbished and remodelled Grade II listed central school building- a former manor built for Charles II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“As the plant was being mounted on the flat roof element, the architect had specified we use BigFoot to avoid penetrating the membrane,” explained Bowmer + Kirkland QS Garry Healy. “It was the first time I had used it: Big Foot recommended Gilberts as being expert in working with the system, so it made sense to go with them to supply and install, particularly as, with COVID, we were against time meeting the deadline for the school to re-open.”

“Because of COVID, we were at reduced capacity, as were the construction team,” explained Gilberts Contracts Supervisor Robert Wardle. “By working closely with the client at all stages, we were able to work as efficiently as possible, which gave us a fighting chance to complete the installation by the required date.”

Gilberts WGK louvre system is specifically designed for bespoke screening and ventilation in unusual applications, allowing for planned or last-minute variations in size or shape. As standard, it provides a 75mm pitch at 45dgrees with 50% free ventilation area whilst protecting from ingress by weather and airborne particulates.

WGK is one component of Gilberts’ range of standard and high performance screening louvres, including acoustic, factory assembled and kitform solutions. In turn, the louvres are just part of Gilberts’ range of ventilation strategies that have established it as the UK’s no 1 independent commercial air movement supplier. Family owned, the company has a 60 year heritage of innovation, operating from a 95,000 sq ft facility in the Northern Powerhouse of Lancashire.

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