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Building a sustainable future for Over Hall Community School

The NetZero Buildings team was recently tasked with providing the Over Hall Community School in Cheshire with an additional two classrooms to replace existing portable cabins. The new buildings were designed and built to be highly energy efficient, thus enabling children to see the benefits of sustainable building and reusable energy.

At any one time, there were roughly 40 different people on site – many of whom have been in the industry from school. This brought a wealth of experience, an invaluable asset when it comes to off-site manufacturing and construction, to the site.

A typical day on site

A typical day consisted of the Site Manager, Rob Pinney, arriving to open the site at around 6:30 am when he would do his first safety walkaround. This is carried out on all NetZero Buildings sites to ensure they are in a safe condition for all contractors to work on.

As the contractors and trades turned up, a safety briefing and daily planning meeting would then be held. If any new trades arrived, Rob would also conduct an induction to ensure everyone on site was aware of and fully understood the safety rules and site layout.

Following all initial safety checks and processes, detailed drawing checks would be carried out to ensure the Site Manager was fully up to speed with any changes and ready to answer any questions that may arise from the team. The trades would then get to work carrying out their tasks set for the day.

On regular occasions, there would also be visits on site – either from the clients or their representatives or from NetZero Buildings’ in-house team. For example, the Contracts Manager or the Health and Safety Manager would carry out meetings and checks in addition to the inspections carried out throughout the day by the Site Manager to ensure the site was always safe.

Contractors and trades would generally start to leave site around 5 pm, with Rob sometimes staying a bit later to complete all the daily paperwork before locking up the site to ensure it was secure overnight.

Overcoming challenges

Every day on site, the Site Manager would liaise with contractors to make sure any problem was solved quickly and efficiently. As with any type of construction project, challenges arose daily but the whole team always put their heads together to assess, confer and establish the best means of tackling the problems.

The best part of the project? Handing the building over to the client and seeing the happiness and excitement in their faces – knowing that all the hard work the team put in was truly appreciated.

Crucially, every person working on the Over Hall project (and all NetZero Buildings projects) also truly believes in the ethos of the company and knows every build they are a part of is helping to build a more sustainable future – which makes for a great working environment!

Pioneering off-site manufacturing

NetZero Buildings is now established as a pioneer in the off-site construction sector, delivering high-quality, affordable and radically efficient buildings with minimal disruption.

When it comes to schools, building off-site is an effective way of producing buildings because it means the team is not on site for as long a period. Meaning less disruption to the schools’ normal running process, as well as less waste and reduced health and safety risks.

By using off-site construction methods for the Over Hall project, the team only spent approximately seven weeks on site – from the initial set up through to handing over the completed buildings. This is typical of NetZero Buildings’ projects, which are much quicker to complete while also being kinder to the environment.