The Project

Ark Blake Academy in East Croydon is part of the Ark multi-academy trust, which has 37 UK schools. Wates Group has constructed a purpose-design five-storey school building for the multi-academy trust, which will open its doors to its first students in September 2020.

The layout for the new building positions the classrooms around the perimeter on each level with circulation space in the centre of the building and an internal sports hall. Due to the confined site, an outdoor MUGA (multi-use games area) pitch has been provided on the roof.

The Solution from Millcroft

Millcroft designed and installed an adaptable external scaffold, which was tied into the steel frame using steel girder clamps at each floor level and wrapped in Monoflex to provide weather protection for the Wates team and the building envelope during construction.

The scaffold was designed with retractable transoms, allowing three of the boards in the eight-board platforms to be retracted as required to provide increased headroom for bricklayers. This allowed the Millcroft team to adapt the scaffold in real time in response to changes to the programme, enabling the main contractor to fast-track construction of the brick facades and get the building watertight as quickly as possible.

The tight site in an urban location presented numerous storage, access and logistics challenges and Millcroft also incorporated three staggered loading bays into the scaffold at every level to enable materials to be craned to the right location.

Millcroft also designed and installed an internal scaffold to enable fit out of the sports hall in the centre of the building and provided handrails and edge protection for the installation of the glass balustrades. A further scaffold was required on the roof for the installation of a roof-top MUGA pitch.

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