Marsh Gibbon Primary School

Marsh Gibbon Primary School

  • CLIENT; Marsh Gibbon COE Primary School
  • STATUS; Completed
  • SIZE; 141m2
  • PRICE £PSM: £1,751
  • ARCHITECTS; TSH Architects, Oxford
  • STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS; Ian Harban Consulting Engineers, Banbury
  • EPC RATING; Estimated A
  • Download Drawings Here

The Brief

The aim of the project was to provide…

“Marsh Gibbon School with a high quality, thermally efficient, sustainable
building. The planning stipulates a brick finish and the scheme will have to be
completed whilst the school is in operation.”

During the construction of the nursery building, the site was visited by Paul Cooper of TSH Architects. TSH are a practice that undertakes many projects for schools and colleges and had heard that the Timberworks system, due to its rapid build times, was particularly useful where structures have to be in place and operational within constrained timescales. Having seen the approach and the quality of finish, Timberworks were asked to Tender for a double classroom extension on a restricted site at Marsh Gibbon Primary School, Bucks.


Having been appointed Timberworks worked closely with the Architects to value engineer the project to make the contract sum fit within the available budget and contracts were signed at the end of May 2015. The building comprised of two classrooms and a new entrance corridor and had to marry up to existing walls and doorways. Externally the building was to be clad in a combination of full brick and brick slips with timber detailing round the windows under a tiled pitched roof and sarnafil roofing on flat roof areas.

The building

The whole building was prefabricated in panels. The 243mm thick external wall panels provided u-values of 0.22w/m2K, and the air permeability of the finished structure is estimated to be between 2 and 3 M3/m2/hr at 50pa. The alu-wood windows have argon filled double glazing throughout which deliver u-values of 1.4w/m2K. The Internal wall panels are 110mm thick with rockwool insulation and are doubled up between the classrooms to deliver the required levels of soundproofing and all internal wall finishes were in Fermacell. The Fermacell gives a far tougher, stronger and more durable finish than traditional plasterboard.


Site clearance was started in late June 2015 and the major groundworks, drains and substructure was installed during the summer holidays. The site was then left dormant until the building was delivered on the 21st September.
The building was offloaded and erected in 5 days, and fully finished 9 weeks later. The site management and conduct of the Timberworks team was graded as being Beyond Compliance following formal inspection by the Considerate Contractors scheme.

The Finished Structure

Official completion and formal handover to the school was on 1st December 2015. Internally, both classrooms deliver comfortable and extremely light areas in which to work; the vaulted ceilings provide an airy feeling to the space and there is none of the usual “fogging up” that can often be noticed in classrooms filled with active children.

Paul Cooper from TSH Architects, who designed the building,
fulfilled the Contract administrator role on the building and
co-ordinated the project for the school, commented …

“The classroom extension for Marsh Gibbon Primary School was conceived and designed to be traditionally built. However, due to time and cost constraints on the project we needed to look into alternative methods of construction. After considering different options, timber frame construction was considered the best. What
drew us to Timberworks was the quality of their standard specification and their capability to deliver not just the timber frame, but to provide a turnkey solution. Timberworks did a great job of translating the design for the extension, originally conceived to be traditionally built, to timber frame construction and demonstrated to us how well suited off-site fabrication is to bespoke buildings. We appreciated their attention to detail and the care shown in the quality of finishing in the delivered building.
The building was delivered a few days later than planned, this was owing to Timberworks own quality control.
They were not happy with a sub-contractor’s work so wanted to rectify before handing over, rather than hand over on time with defects. This was appreciated and preferable to us, and summed up Timberworks attention to detail and care over the quality of the building they delivered.
We would not hesitate to work with Timberworks again.”