Cahill Design Consultants’ (CDC) client, Osborne Construction, commissioned CDC to provide fire engineering, acoustic design and air quality services to their unique project throughout RIBA Stages 2 – 5; the development and expansion of new special educational needs school for the London Borough of Lewisham, as part of an ongoing programme to expand SEN school provision in the borough.

The school aims to accommodate 93 secondary school pupils, creating a flexible, efficient space and an outstanding indoor and outdoor learning environment for pupils with severe learning disabilities. It will incorporate a number of teaching and learning spaces for pupils with special needs, including high-needs classrooms, group rooms, community/multi-purpose rooms, a two-floor multi-purpose/ dining hall, an art/drama/music room, a food tech room, a library, in addition to other administration and ancillary areas.

With this in mind, CDC had to ensure the development complied with the functional requirements of building regulations and other guidelines.

For fire engineering this includes wheelchair access requirements for evacuation, internal layout of rooms, fire alarm systems, building separation, fire services access, stair numbers and locations, occupant numbers, code compliant dimensions and sizes, building fire rating and minimum protection requirements.

For acoustic design this included a series of noise surveys and environmental noise surveys around the proposed façade of the development, Noise Assessment Reporting for Planning, to provide outline recommendations for the facade sound insulation, ventilation strategy and noise emissions from building services to nearby noise sensitive premises.

CDC were recently required to provide Air Quality Support to the project as well.

The project aims to achieve BREAM Excellence standards.

Photography by Peter Langdown