Lee Hutchinson’s deployment of cutting-edge innovation played a major part in delivering a new science building housing 18 laboratories amid the close and busy confines of a 500-year-old school. When an old concrete slab reservoir with filter beds 5m deep was discovered under the proposed site, he re-evaluated the piling.
His solution was to rotary-bore metal casings 11m deep for the 200 piles; although a slower methodology than originally planned, he still accommodated the works within the original programme. And when the foundations of the adjacent main teaching block were discovered to consist of little more than paving slabs on compacted ground, he devised a resin-grout injection to underpin it before reworking the new-build’s structural frame reinforcement and resequencing the concrete pours for the frame. He cast in situ the exposed finished concrete, including services containment, to create thermal mass heating in winter and cooling in summer.
He resolved the programme, safety and quality challenges of building curved and vaulted concrete arches 9m long and 3m wide to form the roof of the cloistered quadrangle by eschewing onsite pours. Instead, he had them made in the factory, with each six-tonne precast arch also acting as permanent formwork for the first-floor slab. Lee’s deft planning, good communication and tight management not only assured an event-free build for the client, but also an excellent experience. He listened to user concerns and reliably addressed them. When problems did arise, he was imaginative and disciplined in solving them with openness and clarity while keeping the project momentum constantly going.
Lee Hutchinson’s deft planning delivered a new science building for a 500-year-old school. He resolved the challenges of building curved and vaulted concrete arches 9m long and 3m wide by casting them in a factory. He devised a resin-grout injection to underpin the foundations of the main teaching block that turned out to be little more than paving slabs on compacted ground. And his able communications delivered an excellent client experience.