Project Description

When Dunbar Primary School enrolled upon a project to upgrade their existing pre-school childcare facilities, MPH made the grade with the design, manufacture and installation of a next generation fully equipped bespoke modular nursery building

The Regeneration Game

A decade earlier, MPH laid the building blocks for the project by installing a refurbished nursery centre at Dunbar Primary School. Fast forward ten years and building on the success of this venture, East Lothian Council commissioned the installation of a new purpose-built pre-school facility to replace the existing nursery.

MPH were invited to submit a quotation for the works under a competitive price tender and were duly awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install a new building.

With the project still in its infancy, developing a suitable method for delivering and installing the units onto the site earmarked for the regeneration project presented the MPH design team with an early challenge.

Positioned away from the main school building, the new nursery facility was designed to accommodate a professionally designed play area within a new perimeter security fence.

Crossing the existing school playing fields proved to be the only available access route to site and this in turn involved temporarily removing a section of the existing school perimeter fence to enable vehicular access.

Construction and access issues raise unique concerns when operating within the framework of a controlled school environment. With extensive experience of working within the education sector, MPH are adept at monitoring all associated risks and were able to responsibly oversee this aspect of the works to ensure that the safety of pupils and staff was safeguarded whilst the security of the school remained uncompromised at all times.

A full site survey revealed that the position of a number of existing underground land drainage tanks located beneath the surface of the playing field area posed further unforeseen complications.

With the proposed route of the temporary access road passing directly above the underground tanks, the MPH design team were faced with a significant hurdle as the existing drainage tanks were not designed to withstand the loads from the designated transport and crane.

To overcome this problem, MPH enlisted the help of a specialist company to create a temporary access road across the playing fields and a bridging system was designed to safely negotiate a route over the existing underground drainage tanks.

Following extensive consultation, a detailed building specification was drafted to meet the exact requirements of the school, based upon the previous experience of running the existing nursery on site.

Integral to the design was a covered balcony area incorporated into the modular building structure to enable direct access to a sheltered outdoor space from both the indoor and outdoor play areas. Timber boarding and galvanised steel handrails were also integrated into the covered design, conforming to strict Scottish Building Regulation standards.

An eco-friendly lighting system was implemented within the building, controlled by individual sensors activated as each room is accessed, with an override facility for rooms expected to have little movement inside.

Bespoke furniture was designed and constructed by MPH alongside the manufacturing process. A large cloakroom area within the entrance was designed to accommodate sixty children and included a self contained storage system encompassing individual coat hooks and shoe box style storage with a slatted timber seating area.

Maintenance free special order roof lights were also incorporated into the structure with a thermostatically controlled operation in order to meet the overall precise heating / cooling design parameters of the building.

Other notable features included:

Steel framed building structure with a design life of 25 years.
Maintenance free plastisol steel exterior wall finish with a profiled steel fascia.
Aluminium curtain wall style windows colour coded to dovetail with the main school building.
Aluminium external doors with state of the art door entry systems designed to suit a childcare pre-school environment.
Integral external store with one-hour fire protection.
Two individually designed kitchens with low level partition walls and secure access low-level gates.
Wet areas with two inset sinks set at both teacher and children height.
Bespoke emergency lighting system, designed and manufactured by lighting specialists for inclusion within standard fittings.
Solid core oak veneered internal doors with integral vision panels conforming to latest DDA regulations.
Folding partition to exact colour match of internal doors capable of reducing sound transference when in the closed position.
Marmoleum floor covering utilising sustainable green technologies in the pursuit of eco-friendly sourced renewable manufacturing technologies.
Suspended ceiling throughout to achieve room characteristics required for a teaching/nursery environment.
Vinyl faced plasterboard to provide a wipe clean wall surface and further reduce the on-site programme of works.