Tonbridge Grammar School


Tonbridge Grammar School




Tonbridge, Kent


Fire Compliance Refurbishment



Tonbridge Grammar School is a high achieving selective grammar school with academy status, educating girls between the ages of 11 and 16 and girls and boys in the Sixth Form.


When the school was in need of comprehensive refurbishment in order to achieve fire compliance, Inspire were appointed to carry out the works. These were undertaken on a Design and Build basis under a JCT Intermediate Building Contract, with Inspire engaging a complete Design Team including Mechanical and Electrical consultants The Design Collective.


The project involved enhanced fire resistance works to the structure and fabric of the school building with associated mechanical and electrical works. It also included the complete renewal of the school’s window and facades.


The works were divided into phases, with selected activities undertaken during the school summer holidays whilst other works were completed during the general occupancy of the school term time. This meant that particular care and attention had to be taken to minimise any disruption to the school’s daily activities, whilst also ensuring the highest standards of health and safety whilst working in a live project environment.





The scope of works on this project was diverse and multi-disciplined, comprising of the following main elements:


  • Isolated asbestos removal
  • Refurbishment of selected rooms to upgrade internal fire resistance of the structure to 1 hour
  • Upgrading the thermal and fire performance of all internal walls and ceilings
  • New suspended ceilings and associated lighting
  • L3 compliant fire alarm and emergency lighting system adaptions
  • All existing non-compliant fire doors and screens were also replaced with new doors and fire rated walls including pyro-glass
  • All associated M&E works including fire alarm, emergency lighting, small power, heating, lighting. This involved a complete re-wire of all areas, new distribution boards along with major works to the existing heating system
  • Replacement of all external windows and doors with new aluminium powder coated windows and door sets
  • Fire escape stair installation
  • Ground Works
  • External cladding and brickwork repairs





To ensure that things ran smoothly and deliver a successful outcome for the Client, total project management was required by our site Project Team, along with daily liaison with the Business Manager and Site Premises Team. Whilst works were being carried out internally, works progressed in the same sequence plan externally.


During the lead-in period, a detailed programme of works was prepared and agreed with the Client and this was used throughout the project to ensure minimal disruption to the school’s daily operation.


Comprehensive Health & Safety documentation, including the Construction Phase Plan, was issued to the client during the site mobilisation period to ensure all safety measures were in place. All Inspire operatives and specialist subcontractors were required to be Enhanced DBS Certified and a full list of these individuals was handed over to the school prior to our commencement on site.


Inspire maintained a full site set up during the works comprising a self-contained site welfare area, offices and storage. This had to be relocated as and when the programme dictated to minimise impact on the school’s teaching activities.


All works were completed within the contract programme and all areas handed back over to the school within the agreed timescale. The project also successfully received the Building control approval notice upon completion.



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