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Norfolk County Council


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Daniel Fordham

Operations DirectorBSc
01603 706706
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"It was a privilege to be involved in the first purpose built SEMH school with residential accommodation in East Norfolk. To be able to be an integral part of the process from conception to completion and beyond was very rewarding. Knowing that we have handed over facilities that will hopefully make a difference and getting to see them in use and making a positive impact is very satisfying."

Project Summary

Norfolk County Council identified an urgent need to make provision for pupils in eastern Norfolk with specific social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) diagnoses as no such school provision existed. This would address the needs of children that require the elevated level of support that an SEMH school delivers, and the cost associated with pupil provision being made away from the Great Yarmouth area.

Project Overview

Norse Consulting were commissioned by the Client (NCC) to undertake Design Services (RIBA Stages 1-6) and to procure the whole construction process as quickly as possible.

The site is within a built-up residential area of North Great Yarmouth and consisted of a mixture of educational buildings with the original Alderman Swindel School dating back to 1929. The pupils were relocated to a New enlarged Primary School at North Denes Great Yarmouth in September 2018. Further to pre-planning advice received and comments from the local authority and residents, it was decided that the older original building that fronted Beresford Road, although having no formal designation, had some heritage interest should be retained. All other buildings, hard standing and car parking on the site were to be demolished.

Planning was one of the challenges for the project. The site was already designated for educational use, but Norse Consulting had to ensure that re-development complied with the approved Development Plan for the area and National Planning Policy.

Norse Consulting had to show that the residential accommodation was to be used solely for pupils attending the school.

All the disciplines and Consultants in Norse Consulting have the knowledge and experience to advise, design, and facilitate educational projects. Having the majority of the disciplines and Consultants ‘in house’ makes Norse Consulting best placed to support and communicate the process from RIBA Stage 1 – 6 to our Client.

Project Impact

The project provided much needed spaces and amazing facilities for SEMH provision in Norfolk. The project has seen a number of positive outcomes, including:

• Delivery of a new SEMH school as part of NCC investment in SEN provision across the county. This is the first school for SEMH in the East of Norfolk.
• Brand new facility designed to fulfill the current SEN requirements as recommended by the Department for Education and published in the Building Bulletin 103. In addition, the scope of the works was modified and enhanced following discussion with our Client and the end user to be appropriate for the pupils needs.
• Energy reduction has been achieved from the array of PV on the roof of the main building.
• Thermal efficiency of the fabric and materials used in the extension and new build elements of the building. To match and exceed the requirements of the current Building Regulations.
• Upgrading the thermal efficiency of the retained buildings.
• Natural ventilation strategy generally.
• Use of MMC (Modern methods of construction) The Main New Build School incorporates structural steelwork and on-site Structural Framing System (SFS).
• The two storey dormitory accommodation are timber framed.

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