Braidside Integrated Primary School, Ballymena

Glasgiven Contracts deliver a first-class school for Braidside Integrated pupils...

Glasgiven Contracts pulled out all the stops to ensure Braidside Integrated Primary pupils in Ballymena could start the new school year in state-of-the-art classrooms, ending decades of learning in tired old modular units.
The new school is located on the campus of the neighbouring Castle Tower School (which relocated to another location). The existing school was demolished and the Frys Road site redeveloped to allow Braidside Integrated Primary School to move into their new £5m permanent home in August.
The design and build project showcased Glasgiven Contract’s expert construction design and management skills as the team worked in tandem with the client’s design team.

“Design and build projects can have their advantages and disadvantages,” says Cormac Murphy, Contracts Manager at Glasgiven Contracts. “When it works well, like it did at Braidside Integrated Primary School, you end up with a superior product with each design team bringing their expertise to the table and co-operating to get things right.”

The demolition process wasn’t without its pitfalls, however, admits Cormac. “As with all demolition jobs, there were issues. For example, asbestos had to be removed, NIE cables had to be diverted and a new substation installed. Remediation work also had to be carried out on contaminated ground before we could begin main building works.”

The new school building consists of 14 classrooms, a sports hall, school meals accommodation and a separate building for the nursery school. The enabling works began at the end of August 2018, with groundworks starting three months later.

“There were challenges at the design and development stage before we even got to site as there were a lot of planning restrictions that needed to be discharged,” says Cormac. “The site is adjacent to a dual carriageway, so there were specific requirements for the acoustics to achieve safe noise levels that are acceptable for teaching children. A lot of effort went into this aspect of the design, even down to what ventilation strategy employed because the windows only have a marginal opening. One of the solutions was to install acoustic screens to help baffle the noise.”

The block and brick superstructure includes rendered panels and some aluminium and a composite timber cladding. Underfloor heating and mechanical ventilation systems regulate the airflow and the temperature. There are PV panels on the roof.

“Due to special restrictions within the building a roof top plant strategy needed to be employed.”
Another aspect of the project involved road re-alignment to allow a filter lane and new entrance to the busy Frys Road. “This required a lot of coordination between the teams and Transport NI.”

Just before Easter, when handover was due to take place, Covid-19 locked down the site. “This added three months to the project due to the lockdown and the limitations with personnel numbers upon return,” says Cormac. “We knew the school had a hard deadline at the end of July because they needed a minimum of two weeks to get prepared for the kids coming back to school.

“Normally before a handover you try to get as many people on site to finish up but the social distancing rules just didn’t allow for that. Closer to the end there was weekend work and a few late evenings pulled to complete on time.”

Despite the challenges, Cormac is pleased with how the project turned out. “There was great cooperation between all those involved and we ended up with a great product. The school is delighted. ”

Project Team:
Project Manager: Connor McGeown, WYG
Architect: Isherwood and Ellis
M&E Engineer: Beattie Flanigan
C&S Engineers: Design ID
Project QS: VB Evans

Contractor Team:
Main Contractor: Glasgiven Contracts
Architect: Knox and Clayton
M&E Engineer: ISD
C&S Engineers: Gilligans

Glasgiven Contracts, 16 Ashleigh Ct, Annalong, Newry BT34 4PD
T: +44 (0) 28 4376 8824


Innovation, top contractors and expert site assistance were key to this successful project…

Sika supplied the full warm roof package for the Braidside Integrated Primary School project, which included Sika-Trocal Type ‘S’ single ply membrane, Sika-Trocal laminated metals, Sarnavap Air and Vapour Control Layer, Sikatherm PIR insulation and Sika branded fixings and rainwater outlets. The 2mm thick, slate grey coloured Sika-Trocal Type ‘S’ single ply membrane was selected due to its versatility, speed of installation, durability and most importantly due to its proven performance.

The Sika-Trocal Type ‘S’ system quickly and efficiently detailed around the various roof penetrations including fall arrest posts, soil pipes and solar arrays and fully encapsulated parapet details. Sika Trained and Approved installer, Rowan Roofing Company expertly managed the installation works over a six-month period which were regularly inspected and signed off by Sika’s Field Technician team allowing Sika’s 20 year warranty to be issued on completion.

Sika Roofing, 55 Adelaide St, Belfast BT2 8FE.
Call +44 (0)28 9336 5868
E: to discuss how Sika can assist with your next project.

Beattie Flanigan

When Beattie Flanigan wrote the M&E brief for Braidside Primary School they couldn’t have predicted the effects a virus would have on the project…

Acting on behalf of the client, the consulting engineers delivered a comprehensive design package that complied with all guidelines and regulations. Cooperation and working relationships between the client-side and contractor design teams was excellent and the project ran smoothly – until Covid-19 happened.

“The commissioning was almost complete when the lockdown hit,” says Jason Fisher, Managing Director at Beattie Flanigan. “When we restarted we had to alter the running times and set points of the ventilation systems to comply with the CIBSE Covid-19 recommendations and had to redo parts of the commissioning process to verify all systems were operating correctly to the new requirements.

“We had great main, mechanical and electrical sub-contractors on board. It’s a credit to all that we pulled together to deliver an exemplary product regardless.”

Beattie Flanigan, 40 Montgomery Road, Belfast BT6 9HL.
T: +44 (0)28 9079 4411

Thomas Hanna

Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd were responsible for the installation of all mechanical services for Braidside Integrated Primary School. The scope of the project was design and build and this allowed the County Fermanagh-based firm to fully employ the knowledge and experience gained over 50-plus years working in all sectors of the industry.

“We worked alongside the consultant engineer ISD and project team to develop and deliver a sustainable installation solution for the mechanical services based on the outline specification,” says Martin Hanna, Managing Director of Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd. The school’s design had a flat roof, which meant a reduced space for containment.

“Along with our team members, Braham Electrical and Knox Clayton Architects, we coordinated our combined services to maximise the available space providing a suitable solution that allowed for maintenance and future expansion if required,” says Martin. “This ensured any potential clash was addressed and amended prior to works commencing on site, ensuring a trouble-free installation. “To date we have partnered with Glasgiven Contracts on six projects and are looking forward to partnering with them again.”

For more information call: +44 (0)28 8953 1373

Barleystone Paving

Barleystone Paving was the supplier of the striking granite paving system laid to the entrance of Braidside Integrated Primary School, Ballymena. The paving specialists responded quickly to the supply request for their Larchfield Permeable Paving brick.

The silver granite, 200m x 100mm x 60mm permeable brick is finished with a black granite border and has been designed to meet the demands and standards to reduce flood and pollution risk. Barleystone Paving have worked on numerous projects with Glasgiven Contracts in and around Dublin, but this was the first supply job with them to NI.

“As always with Glasgiven Contracts, this project ran very smoothly, says Sean Clarke, NI and ROI Sales Representative for Barleystone Paving. “The school is a great showcase for this brick which has a very attractive granite finish.”

For more information, call: +353 (0)42 967 5992:

Mulderg Interior Linings Ltd

Mulderg Interior Linings Ltd supplied and installed all suspended ceilings, partitions and acoustic boards to Braidside Integrated Primary School. The six-month job was their first working with Glasgiven Contracts and they were impressed by the well-run operation. “We had six men onsite fitting all the material,” says Mark Gormley, Director at Mulderg Interior Linings Ltd.

“Glasgiven Contracts ensured the job went very smoothly and we’re looking forward to working with them on future projects.” Mulderg Interiors is fast becoming a ‘preferred client subcontractor’ for major projects within commercial and public sectors throughout Northern Ireland and the UK. They carry out all aspects of dry lining, plastering, metal stud partitioning, screeding, coving, external rendering and suspended ceilings.

“Our main objectives are to achieve the best quality workmanship, keep the project on budget and complete within the given timescale,” says Mark.

For more information call:
T: +44 (0)77 202 40212

RG Decorators

RG Decorators carried out all the interior and exterior painting at the new Braidside Integrated Primary School in Ballymena. Established 30 years ago, RG Decorators have built a solid reputation as contract painters working on a wide variety of project types such as hospitals, schools, commercial buildings, private building developments, fire proofing, marine coatings and hygiene coatings.

The painting contract at Braidside included all masonry, internal plasterwork and woodwork and took six men seven months to complete. RG Decorators have a successful working relationship with Glasgiven Contracts having previously worked with them on projects at Woodburn Primary School, Julianstown School and Mary Murray House in Newcastle. RG Decorators understand how large-scale structures often have special painting, coating and maintenance requirements and will always take extra care to make sure that the job is done right.

For more information call:
T: +44 (0)792 108933

Braham Electrical

For almost 40 years Braham Electrical has worked closely with local authorities, schools, academies, universities and nurseries to provide educational environments that positively impact and influence the learning future of children.

The design and build nature of the project at Braidside Integrated Primary School, Ballymena played to Braham’s strengths in the sector. “It allowed us far greater input into the electrical design than on a normal job,” says Braham Electrical Director, Jason McQuaid. “We worked alongside the consulting engineer, ISD, and the rest of the project team to specify all the equipment used, the type of light fittings and other specialist items that were installed.”

“The whole team, from the client, architect, the main contractor Glasgiven Contracts onwards, worked well together and did a great job. That’s satisfaction in itself,” says Jason.

For further information contact:
T: +44 (0) 28 4177 2989

Stephens Catering Equipment

Specialising in supplying innovative, energy and labour saving equipment, Stephens Catering Equipment delivered a highly efficient kitchen, servery and kitchen extract system for Braidside Integrated Primary School. This was further enhanced by bespoke stainless steel countertops and canopy made by their expert in-house fabrication team.

Stephens Catering Equipment enhanced the workspace by bringing in as much light as possible into the kitchen. “We had to alter the canopy from the standard square shape as it would have blocked out the light from the windows above,” says Paul Caves, Director at Stephens Catering Equipment. “Instead, we angled it to allow the light to reflect off the canopy and into the room to accommodate the roof style.”

Equipment supplied included a Hobart food prep and warewasher, Rational combination oven and VarioCookingCentre, Moffat bains-marie and Foster refrigeration. “It was a pleasure to work with Glasgiven Contracts. We’ve worked with them on many projects previously and look forward to the next project with them,” says Paul.

For more information call:
T: +44 (0)28 2586 1711