The new Belfairs High School is an 11,000 square metre new build project, completed in 2011 to accommodate 1,300 students from years 7-13 (11-18 year olds).
This is a Pathfinder school built under the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) scheme and the first of 3 projects that Style was selected for by Skanska Essex BSF.
Working with contractor JJ Sweeney (to Skanska) and architects Penoyre & Prasad, Style was appointed to help the school maximise the use of its space by enabling the theatre and certain classrooms to be sub-divided with speed and ease.
The demand for space in schools changes frequently in line with the multitude of student activities, and a key criteria was that rooms could be altered effortlessly in preparation for the next lesson or event.
Offering moveable walls up to 14.5m high, sound reductions up to Rw 60 dB and a 90 minute fire rating DORMA Variflex was deemed the most suitable solution as it offered Belfairs a complete solution including ease of manoeuvre, privacy, safety and aesthetics.
Three 11500mm wide x 6500mm high operable walls were installed in the theatre in a black finish to suit the surroundings, one was installed in a white finish at the front of theatre and four were used in the classrooms.
“By installing ‘easy to operate’ moveable walls of the right quality and finish transforms a room and offers immense benefits to schools, colleges and universities,” said Keith Way, Style’s Director for the South East.
“Immediately, a single open space can be turned into a number of smaller rooms and back again, offering schools tremendous versatility. It also ensures room usage and occupation is maximised which is vital for benefiting both the students and the school budget.”