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Kier lays foundations for biggest timber project

19 Dec 12 Kier Construction has started work on a £19m school project in west London that is thought will be the largest structure in the UK built with the latest cross-laminated timber technology.

Foundations are now being laid for the William Perkin Church of England High School in Greenford under a fast-track programme that will see the first pupils enter the new building at the start of term next September.

William Perkin High is the latest in a succession of high-speed school projects that Kier has undertaken using cross-laminated timber (CLT), including the Sir Alec Reed Academy in nearby Northolt, completed last summer.

The team is on course for the first section handover for the year seven intake in September 2013 - some 10 months after moving onto the former Glaxo sports and social club grounds to begin demolition of the old premises and site preparations.

The design and build contract has been awarded to Kier's Maple Cross office by Ealing Council on behalf of the Twyford Academies Trust, which will run the school.

The new school will have places for 1,200 11 to 16-year-olds, plus a sixth form with places for 250 students and a centre for children with special educational needs.

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Following the first intake of pupils in September, internal fit-out works will continue until April 2014.

Kier Construction operations director Norman Elliott said: "We're off to a flying start. Having only taken possession of the site in October, the old buildings have been demolished and piling has been completed. Now the foundations are being laid, the project is really starting to come out of the ground.

"We are geared up for a fast construction programme in order to hand over to the school next August."

Kier said that cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction technology had been chosen because it offers high-speed installation using modular factory-made components that can be delivered to site and rapidly erected, with fewer stoppages for weather likely.

CLT specialist KLH UK is manufacturing some 3,800 cubic metres of timber panels, amounting to more than 1,700 tonnes and covering combined floor and wall areas totalling approximately 22,500 square metres. The panels will start arriving at Greenford in the New Year and the site installation programme is expected to be 16-18 weeks, allowing the various follow-on trades to complete their work under the tight timescale.

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