Franche Primary School

This is an example of transformative retrofit, which is not glamorous, but has transformed the performance of the buildings. The project involved phased extension and refurbishment on an austerity budget with phased funding. Clever, functional design achieved a better environment for users.


We identified the end users value criteria to present solutions such as the flexibility of spaces for future changes which can provide better options for whole life costing compared to the cost of alterations in the future when the need arises.

Rigorous in our analysis of the brief to gain best value, we designed the refurbished areas and extensions to allow the school to gain maximum benefit from the investment of capital. This project is an example of how our involvement and intervention at an early stage can help achieve realistic expectations and the delivery of a refurbishment project with difficult funding restraints in a challenging economic climate. We used our extensive experience of working on projects with low budgets to help the Client with brief decisions and feasibility options for the project.

The build programme required the works to be phased to allow the School to be used during term times. We liaised with the client group and contractor to ensure that the schools programme requirements were accommodated, and the school could provide safe, and secure teaching environments throughout the construction contract.

Franche Community Primary School was built in the 1950s with a series of later additions and displays many of the characteristics of a building of that date, including lightweight construction, excessive glazing and poor levels of insulation.

The original brief for the project was for a new build school, however following a financial review of spending priorities by Children's Services, the project brief was changed into options for refurbishing the existing buildings through a series of phases while the existing school is operational combined with new build extensions to better suit the school and bring the building to current Building regulations standards.

Our objectives were to refurbish and extend the inefficient buildings with up-to-date teaching spaces which will serve the school well into the future, reduce running costs and improve the function of the spaces.