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Improving facilities at the Humphry Davy School

NetZero Buildings recently undertook an exciting project at the Humphry Davy School in Cornwall, whereby the team was tasked with providing a new zero carbon, six-classroom block to replace an old prefabricated building. As well as this, the team will provide new parking with electric charging points.

The end result will be hugely beneficial to staff and students – both of whom will benefit from a brand new, energy-efficient block with up-to-date IT technology and a better learning environment. By seeing how new off-site construction methods work, students will also have gained an insight into the future of building.

Daily life on site

The project began at the end of March 2019 and phase one of the new build is due to finish mid-July. Phase two will then be completed by the end of August before school resumes in September with a new intake of students. However, due to the nature of off-site construction, the team will have spent significantly less time on site than if traditional methods were being used for the build.

Between them, the project team members have a wealth of experience. Site Manager Lee Hall has been in construction for over 20 years; before this, he served in the armed forces – so has a great work ethic and teamwork mentality. The Assistant Site Manager has been working in the industry for 10 years, while experience across the operatives and contractors varies from trainees with one year’s worth to experienced trades with up to 30 years under their belt.

A day on site usually starts at 6:45 am, when Lee carries out his prestart morning walk round to check the site is ready for the contractors to arrive. He will then brief the contractors and if any new contractors start, he will induct them to ensure they know and understand NetZero Buildings’ safety standards, as well as the site layout.

Typical daily activities will then commence. These could be anything from the major install, which would involve the whole team working together on a very difficult technical and physical operation, to multiple individual trades working on different tasks. To make sure everyone is working safely alongside each other, Lee co-ordinates these activities.

Lee’s role also involves meeting with the school representative to keep them up to speed with how the project is going. This helps to build a good working relationship with the school – something NetZero Buildings’ site managers excel at – which ensures any day-to-day issues can be accommodated and resolved easily.

Looking ahead

Although there will always be a place for traditional methods, Lee believes off-site construction is the way forward in terms of the environment, speed and cost – and that it will be the main method of construction in the future.

Thanks to Theresa May’s recent net zero by 2050 announcement, current news and other government policies, more people are becoming aware of the issue of climate change and this can only be a good thing for the pioneering work NetZero Buildings is trying to do.

Our ethos revolves around building energy-efficient buildings that have a positive effect on the environment and we want to be at the forefront of creating a sustainable future. As such, the team is constantly looking at new, innovative ways to use renewable energy and improve the construction of carbon zero buildings.

For other businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint, research is key. There is so much information out there about all the different options available and a lot of these things can have little or no cost – so, it is all about thinking smarter and getting into good habits, rather than sticking to old ones.

To find out more about NetZero Buildings’ projects, please get in touch today.