Perse Upper School Design and Technology (DT) Extension Block

The Perse Upper School Design and Technology (DT) Extension Block is a new addition to The Perse Upper School, Cambridge. The project consisted of a new first-floor building over an existing single-story DT block on stilts. 

The new structure includes 14 offices, 6 meeting rooms, a shower, changing and locker room, 3 WCs, an accessible WC, 4 storerooms, and a common room. The external works comprised new foul and storm drainage systems and tarmac for the car park area. 

The project included multiple sustainable and energy-efficient features, specifically in regard to energy sources and temperature control. Air source heat pumps were installed to power underfloor heating and radiators throughout the new extension, a highly energy efficient system which reduces carbon emissions. Solar panels were installed on the roof of the new building, expecting to generate approximately 1348 kWh of electricity annually. This reduces the school’s dependency on grid electricity to power the electrical systems within the new building. Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) planters were strategically placed on each downpipe, collecting rainwater which is then used to water the plants within these planters. This improves the landscape and greenery around the building whilst utilising excess water. This system also helps manage surface water runoff, preventing potential flooding and soil erosion. The integration of SUDS planters demonstrates a commitment to innovative water management practices and enhances the building’s ecological impact. 

Early understanding of logistics & programming the construction activities around the school’s routine was key to delivering a successful project. The project schedule was coordinated to accommodate exam periods to minimise disruption. This approach ensured that the educational environment remained conducive to learning while allowing construction to progress without significant delays.  

One of the challenges facing the team was the continuous operation of the existing DT block during construction. TJ Evers installed a crash deck above the walkway to keep the walkway operational to the school staff and students during construction. Our site manager had weekly meetings with the school’s Head of DT to ensure lessons were not being affected by the project.  

TJ Evers faced other challenges throughout this project, including space and storage issues due to working on a small site that was populated with school faculty and students. Materials and equipment needed to be coordinated efficiently to avoid congestion. Our team was challenged with having to avoid disrupting the school’s bust one-way car park system. Delivery times were carefully scheduled, and all subcontractors and suppliers were made aware of this concern and worked cooperatively with us to ensure smooth operations with minimum disruption to school staff. 

TJ Evers demonstrated adaptability and commitment to staying within budget during this project by proposing an alternative construction method. Initially, a Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) rig was specified for the project. However, due to the site’s physical constraints, TJ Evers suggested using a mini rig on the rear elevation. This alternative allowed for safe and accessible working conditions whilst still adhering to budget requirements. 

The unique construction design of this project brought its own challenges. The new building was constructed entirely over the top of the existing DT block, yet it was engineered as a completely standalone structure. TJ Evers had to ensure that the design and construction techniques allowed the new build to seamlessly integrate with the existing block, presenting as a single, unified structure.  

The new design and technology floor at The Perse Upper School was completed on 12th January 2024, with the total value of the project totalling £2.2M. Following the success of this project, TJ Evers secured an additional project within the school, a 6-week refurbishment project of an existing air handling unit.  


Perse Upper School Design and Technology (DT) Extension Block

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