P C Henderson helps improve the learning environment and playtime at the Lowther Primary School

P C Henderson’s Lift and Slide System has been installed in the second phase of refurbishment for Lowther Primary School, London Borough of Richmond, to help transform the facilities and complement the existing building.

Part of the second phase extension doubled the size of the primary school with a new two-storey building, taking it from single form entry to two-form entry. As part of this phase of the project, P C Henderson’s Lift and Slide hardware was installed helping create a dramatic entrance to the playground. The 900m² block is comprised of four classrooms, a hall, a kitchen, an ICT suite, staff room and support rooms.

Mark Tuffney, Headteacher of Lowther Primary School commented on the extension:

“We’re delighted to have such brilliant facilities and increased capacity for the school. The extension creates easier access to the playground and provides more natural light thanks to the large sliding doors. The hardware is easy to operate and also helps keep us feel safe and warm in the winter. When we did the masterplan all those years ago I don’t think we could’ve even dreamt that we would have such wonderful facilities and resources here at Lowther – well we have and it’s marvellous.”

To meet the needs of Richmond Council, Lowther Primary School staff and the school children, Patel Taylor architects designed an open and bright extension connected to the existing first floor building via a glazed link bridge. The success of both phases was helped by the collaborative working between the school, the local authority and the architect.

P C Henderson’s Lift and Slide hardware was specified to help realise the vision of the final extension. Lift and Slide allows the use of wooden doors and up to 3m2and the glazing increases natural light whilst providing excellent weather resistance and security features.

E C Harris consulting also worked to realise the master plan for transforming the site into a working community centre comprising of a children’s centre, primary school, nursery and community facilities for adults.

P C Henderson’s Lift and Slide makes the doors operate with a simple turn of the handle. This unlocks the door, lifts the door up from its weather tight position and allows it to slide easily on the carriages with minimal friction. Once open the door can be lowered at any position and locked by moving the handle down. This simple operation is achieved with the confidence that the system offers superior weather resistance and; with the combination of the multi-lock mechanism and concealed position of the carriages, excellent security. The system can hold doors up to 300kg and is available in three CE rated weather levels.

The project was registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) which scored the process 36.5 out of 40 for its final audit. The CCS was founded by the construction industry to improve its image and is a non-profit independent organisation which encourages best practice through safety, environmental welfare and community care.

The first extension phase has been awarded Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent further displaying the environmental considerations of the School and Borough. Phase one also achieved a Civic Trust Award, RIBA Award, and a British Construction Award for ‘Small Building Project.’

London Borough of Richmond commented that the entire design and construction process had been carried out in a rich spirit of collaboration and co-operation between the design team, School, Borough and contractor. This is reflected in the outcome which the Borough and School are delighted with.

P C Henderson’s hardware can help utilise space in schools and maximise potential. For example rooms such as assembly halls can be divided into extra classrooms with sliding or folding doors. Standard or cupboard doors can eliminate the room needed for a swing door to function by using sliding doors which are also the safer option as they eliminate the intrusive swing door.