Effingham, Surrey

School Extension and New Preparatory School

St Teresa's school operated from two sites and had a long term vision to combine the facilities onto one location. The architect developed a proposal for further development at the senior school site on Effingham Hill that would provide a new preparatory school and further facilites to the senior school. This was a very interesting and unique architectural project, which required a specialised timber frame design.  Incorporated within this, was the need to design for disproportionate collapse.

Some of the challenges that were overcome during the course of this project included the use of 194mm wall studs for panel heights of over 6m. Timber infill panels were designed to suit steel frames within a new hall.  Timber ring beams were engineered to carry loads in an event of an unforeseen disaster.

The roof on this project was designed as Timber I-Beam roof cassettes. This allowed us to meet architectural eaves details, with a factory fixed overhang. In addition to this, the use of a crane on-site allowed the installation of the roofs for phase 1 and 2 to be installed within a couple of days, when 12 days had been allocated by the contractor. This was subject to the profiled rafters and firrings to be fitted on the flat roof areas.

An upper floor rainwater collection tank has been included within this project. The recycled water will be used for sanitation purposes. All additional loads for this tank were taken into account for the joist and wall calculations.

Throughout the site a good relationship between three main building disciplines has been achieved (Timber, Steel & Concrete).

Completed on time in December 2008, this was the first job for a new client, and its success has helped to establish an ongoing professional relationship with them.


Architect – Miller Bourne Architects

Timber Frame Manufacturers – A1M Timber Building System

Building Contractors – R Durtnell & Sons Ltd