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Building a school gym

  • 23-02-2010 7:43pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭


    Advice needed on building a cost effective school gym.

    Ok, I'm on a local board of management and we want to build a decent gym for the school. We've been told by an architect that the only solution is a €1,000,000 large bricks and mortar building. I dont buy this for a second, surely there must be a way to throw up a steel frame well insulated structure at half the price that would do exactly the same job...!!!

    Could somebody please point me in the right direction :o


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,195 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Moved from Accommodation & Property.


    All well and good to go for a lightweight design until someone puts a dent in the metal panelling with a football.

    Talk to the building unit in the Department of Education (Tullamore) and ask them what recent gyms have cost and what specifications they've had and what level of funding might be available. The gym hall we had in college was 3 times the one we had in school.

    Your idea of a gym may not be the same as the architects and the Department might have its own ideas.

    Until you have a size, specification and fit-out decided, you don't know if it is going to cost €500,000 or €1,000,000 or €2,000,000.


  • Registered Users Posts: 38,829 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    dragonbet wrote: »
    Advice needed on building a cost effective school gym.

    Ok, I'm on a local board of management and we want to build a decent gym for the school. We've been told by an architect that the only solution is a €1,000,000 large bricks and mortar building. I dont buy this for a second, surely there must be a way to throw up a steel frame well insulated structure at half the price that would do exactly the same job...!!!

    Could somebody please point me in the right direction :o

    It wouldn't need to be well insulated.
    Lightweight wouldn't be very robust. There is also the issue of planning and having it match the existing.

    You don't need bricks, blocks are cheaper.
    One I work on was steel framed, with concrete infil up to a certain height, then acoustic paneled above


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    From here

    http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/bu_tgd_021.pdf

    4.1 Durability
    (a) The completed building structure including roof structure, primary roof deck
    or slab and walls should be designed to have a minimum designed life span
    of 60 years.


    This pretty much leans towards your architects advice


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    sinnerboy wrote: »
    From here

    http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/bu_tgd_021.pdf

    4.1 Durability
    (a) The completed building structure including roof structure, primary roof deck
    or slab and walls should be designed to have a minimum designed life span
    of 60 years.

    This pretty much leans towards your architects advice

    I dont see where a steel framed kind of structure wouldnt be durable and it would easy last 60years, plus it may even be easier & cheaper to maintain. Didnt read all the guidelines though, its on my to do list for tomorrow, cheers.
    Mellor wrote: »
    It wouldn't need to be well insulated.
    Lightweight wouldn't be very robust. There is also the issue of planning and having it match the existing.

    You don't need bricks, blocks are cheaper.
    One I work on was steel framed, with concrete infil up to a certain height, then acoustic paneled above

    I understand all the planning issues and can overcome them so its really about a cost effective building solution. Was it a gym type/general purpose building you worked on, thats the kind of thing I have in my head, steel framed, but a little better finished than your average warehouse.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    dragonbet wrote: »
    I dont see where a steel framed kind of structure wouldnt be durable and it would easy last 60years ...... but a little better finished than your average warehouse.

    There's the conflict . The steel frame is not the issue it's the lightweight walling

    No lightweight external wall system such as you are describing can be demonstrated to have a 60 year life .

    Schools are run on a shoe string as you don't need me to tell you . Dept of Ed therefore require "no maintenance" construction ( no such thing in reality ) thus - masonry construction is what they are almost always built of .

    Assuming that you have to build to Dept of Ed requirements , Your architect is advising you correctly .


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  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    sinnerboy wrote: »
    There's the conflict . The steel frame is not the issue it's the lightweight walling
    No lightweight external wall system such as you are describing can be demonstrated to have a 60 year life .
    Schools are run on a shoe string as you don't need me to tell you . Dept of Ed therefore require "no maintenance" construction ( no such thing in reality ) thus - masonry construction is what they are almost always built of .
    Assuming that you have to build to Dept of Ed requirements , Your architect is advising you correctly .

    Hmmmmmm, are you my architect??????

    We have a couple of warehouses, steel framed, mass concrete walls up to about 2.5 metres (far from lightweight) then kingspan or quinn therm sheeted sides and roof...!! Used everyday, never spent a penny on maintenance and one of them is twenty plus years old.

    Now I know these are basically high spec sheds but you could throw one of these up for under 50k plus we are doing it this off our own backs and have budgeted 200-350k for a building of approximately 100ft x 150ft.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    I cant advise any further perhaps others will . If I was your architect I would ask for an unambiguous written statement from you to state that YOU take full responsibility for your brief to me

    Edit

    You may care to see this

    http://www.kingspanpanels.com/Resource_Centre/Technical-Information/Structural-Performance/Durability---Lifestyle.aspx



    .


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    Dragonbet the point which I think you should be aware of is if you are getting dept funding then you have to build to thier requirements, like it or not or else get no grants!!!. If the school are paying for it themselves then you probably can do it whatever way you like.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    sinnerboy wrote: »
    I cant advise any further perhaps others will . If I was your architect I would ask for an unambiguous written statement from you to state that YOU take full responsibility for your brief to me

    Edit

    You may care to see this

    http://www.kingspanpanels.com/Resource_Centre/Technical-Information/Structural-Performance/Durability---Lifestyle.aspx

    .

    Well thanks for the input


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    No6 wrote: »
    Dragonbet the point which I think you should be aware of is if you are getting dept funding then you have to build to thier requirements, like it or not or else get no grants!!!. If the school are paying for it themselves then you probably can do it whatever way you like.

    We're fundraising for it ourselves, plus I've made a significant donation and want to see it done effectively and efficiently. I'm not thinking about breaking any building regs and I've read the guidelines and I still cant see how some type of steel framed structure cant be constructed within these guidelines. :confused:

    A friend of mine from the north said he knows of some school who were trying to do the same thing a few years ago so he's following that up for me and hopefully that will develop a lead. There seems to be way more innovation in the north for these types of projects, perhaps its just the high level of industry there. I dunno


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  • Registered Users Posts: 38,829 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    dragonbet wrote: »
    I understand all the planning issues and can overcome them so its really about a cost effective building solution. Was it a gym type/general purpose building you worked on, thats the kind of thing I have in my head, steel framed, but a little better finished than your average warehouse.

    You can't be aware of all the issues until you apply. Schools can be tricky as they have a large community impact.

    as for mine, it was a secondary school hall/gym. Multi-purpose in so far as assemblys, exams and sports. This was steel framed.


    I think you confused slightly. Nobody is saying it can't be a steel frame structure or that it has to be masonry structure.
    however it can't be steel framed with typical cladding and internal wal finishes.
    How long do you think your sheds would of lasted if people were palying football inside.
    The structure can be steel framed, to hold the roof, and any highlevel wndows and panels. But the external finish, and the internal finish at low levels has to be durable.
    In my exp, the options are Block, Brick or Concrete. The are other too, but kingspan won't do imo.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 122 ✭✭justflow1983


    In fairness, the building in question is more than likely to be steel framed, so thats not the issue. As everyone above has pointed out, your biggest issue is durability of finishes.

    Blockwork infill in the steel frame isn't obscenely expensive. Afterall, people wouldn't build houses with it if it was. A simple epoxy paint to the block on the inside will keep things looking good and can be easily painted over; no need for anything else. Leave your structure and mechanicals exposed, keep everything to 1 storey, and use whatever bargain tile is available for toilets (white 100mm squares seem to be 1/4 the price of anything else) and you can reduce your costs pretty easily without obsessing over making it into a warehouse shed. You could even go without rendering the external leaf of the block or use a split-faced block to give a nice finish at minimal cost.

    The Devil will be in the details, or in this case, the cost and durability of finishes. The 60 year framework for finishes is a good goal to work to; what's the point of funding such a project if you just have to fund it again in 20 years?


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    Mellor wrote: »
    You can't be aware of all the issues until you apply. Schools can be tricky as they have a large community impact.
    as for mine, it was a secondary school hall/gym. Multi-purpose in so far as assemblys, exams and sports. This was steel framed.


    I think you confused slightly. Nobody is saying it can't be a steel frame structure or that it has to be masonry structure.
    however it can't be steel framed with typical cladding and internal wal finishes.
    How long do you think your sheds would of lasted if people were palying football inside.
    The structure can be steel framed, to hold the roof, and any highlevel wndows and panels. But the external finish, and the internal finish at low levels has to be durable.
    In my exp, the options are Block, Brick or Concrete. The are other too, but kingspan won't do imo.

    The sheds are holding up ok considering someone seems to drive a forklift into the wall every second week, but your right a few heavy games of indoor footie would surely **** up the exposed panels...!!! :rolleyes: I wasnt thinking a full kingspan panelled building, more like 2-3metres of a concrete or block wall, then kingspan or something from there up...!! I think we're on the same wave-length there. What kinda size building did ye build, what kinda construction and what kinda cost??


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    In fairness, the building in question is more than likely to be steel framed, so thats not the issue. As everyone above has pointed out, your biggest issue is durability of finishes.

    Blockwork infill in the steel frame isn't obscenely expensive. Afterall, people wouldn't build houses with it if it was. A simple epoxy paint to the block on the inside will keep things looking good and can be easily painted over; no need for anything else. Leave your structure and mechanicals exposed, keep everything to 1 storey, and use whatever bargain tile is available for toilets (white 100mm squares seem to be 1/4 the price of anything else) and you can reduce your costs pretty easily without obsessing over making it into a warehouse shed. You could even go without rendering the external leaf of the block or use a split-faced block to give a nice finish at minimal cost.

    The Devil will be in the details, or in this case, the cost and durability of finishes. The 60 year framework for finishes is a good goal to work to; what's the point of funding such a project if you just have to fund it again in 20 years?

    Exactly, I suppose I'm just looking for a miracle solution, half the cost, same quality. What kinda roof would you recommend? Have you seen anything like this done effectively?? Cheers


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,195 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    dragonbet wrote: »
    We have a couple of warehouses, steel framed, mass concrete walls up to about 2.5 metres (far from lightweight) then kingspan or quinn therm sheeted sides and roof...!!
    Not good enough when someone lashes a ball against it.
    Used everyday, never spent a penny on maintenance and one of them is twenty plus years old.
    Check your roof.
    Now I know these are basically high spec sheds but you could throw one of these up for under 50k plus we are doing it this off our own backs and have budgeted 200-350k for a building of approximately 100ft x 150ft.
    Well, will that be big enough. And changing rooms, showers, toilets, equipment, seating, etc.? You will either need a timber floor or some sort of carpet / matting. If its to be used as an assembly hall, you are likely to need a ceiling to reduce noise internally and from rain.

    We're not saying it can't be done, just don't fall into the trap that half of clients do that "ah, sure I'll get my mate to do it for half nothing", when the mate will also deliver an unsuitable product.

    I had a client who bought a 400m2 house for a then exorbitant sum in a swanky neighbourhood that had been used as bedsits for 20-30 years (date determinable by the apartments built in the former garden and technically it was only part of the house, as it had been split for one huge house into two large houses). Complete lemon of a house. 1970s straw yellow nylon carpets, random colour bathroom fittings and you could tell the types of pipes used in the plumbing by the stains on the baths - green for copper piping and red for gun metal. Oh, and a cooker point on the third floor. Concrete footpaths built in the 1930s or earlier and all but crumbling from their age. She baulked at spending €350,000 on it (€100,000 for the kitchen that she really wanted) having already spent €400,000 buying it without advice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 38,829 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    dragonbet wrote: »
    The sheds are holding up ok considering someone seems to drive a forklift into the wall every second week, but your right a few heavy games of indoor footie would surely **** up the exposed panels...!!! :rolleyes: I wasnt thinking a full kingspan panelled building, more like 2-3metres of a concrete or block wall, then kingspan or something from there up...!! I think we're on the same wave-length there. What kinda size building did ye build, what kinda construction and what kinda cost??

    It was very large, high spec. Private school etc
    Part of a series of buildings so can't give a price.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    Victor wrote: »
    We're not saying it can't be done, just don't fall into the trap that half of clients do that "ah, sure I'll get my mate to do it for half nothing", when the mate will also deliver an unsuitable product.

    No, we are genuinely not trying to skimp on quality and we have a great team behind us for fundraising and support but we just feel there has to be more innovation out there rather than just going with the norm.

    Maybe we are wrong but I wont give in until I see some place that was built successfully at half the price or if I find some disaster of a place that didnt work out right and reaffirms the argument for blocks, mortar, tiled roof etc...!
    Victor wrote: »
    Complete lemon of a house.

    :D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭dragonbet


    Mellor wrote: »
    It was very large, high spec. Private school etc
    Part of a series of buildings so can't give a price.

    Was it the same idea as I was talking about or was it as expensive as the full cavity block wall, tiled roof build???


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 122 ✭✭justflow1983


    I'm all for finding alternatives for blocks and mortar, but unfortunately a sports hall is probably one of the hardest places to build durably. I know it doesn't seem like it, but over time footballs, raquetballs, etc bashing into your finishes will make it look hammered pretty quickly. Dents in the wall may be OK in a warehouse but your sports hall will just look tired and worn out very fast. Think about a new car thats covered in dents, it looks like an old mess.

    Take a look at sports halls in other countries, you may get a sense of other durable finishes that could better suit your project. I also wouldn't be too worried about the roof, I've found that standing seam metal roofs are cost competitive and they last for a very long time.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    dragonbet wrote: »
    I wont give in until I see some place that was built successfully at half the price or if I find some disaster of a place that didnt work out right and reaffirms the argument for blocks, mortar, tiled roof etc...!

    Why ?

    The advice of your architect and of those posting here is consistent .You will waste your time and delay the project . Or worse , satisfy your own mind anyway to stick to your guns and fail the school by delivering an unsuitable building .


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  • Registered Users Posts: 38,829 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    dragonbet wrote: »
    Was it the same idea as I was talking about or was it as expensive as the full cavity block wall, tiled roof build???

    It was no cheaper than building it with bricks. We did it that way for aesthetics no cost saving.
    My current practice completed another sports hall last year. I wasn't involved with it directly, but I am aware of a lot of the issues involved. It was also concrete finished, was on a tight budget. Total cost was $1.3 million (note: dollars). The sports hall was voted best sports building in the world for 2009. (completing against the new Wimbledon and the NY Jets training ground).


  • Registered Users Posts: 430 ✭✭timod




  • Registered Users Posts: 159 ✭✭liamolaighin


    check this out. not sure of complete cost but know it was very cheap in comparison to prices mentioned here...

    http://www.colaistechoilm.ie/FacilitiesSportlann.htm


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 hrc


    While teaching in the UK I worked at a private school in Surrey. There the architects produced elaborate drawings for a multi-purpose gym (it included a stage at one end for theatricals). The cost was to be astronomical.
    In the end we used a modified agricultural barn structure at a fraction of the cost. Brick up to about 2.5 metres, steel frame with corrugated type panels to roof (also corrugated). It was excellent as a gym, but less successful as a theatre/concert venue as the roof crackled and banged with expansion and contraction when even a single cloud passed over. It's now over 18 years old and still functioning well as a gym.
    For the original sum we not only got our gym, but also 2 science labs and a music school with 2 classrooms, instrument storage area and 5 individual practice rooms!


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,195 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    check this out. not sure of complete cost but know it was very cheap in comparison to prices mentioned here...

    http://www.colaistechoilm.ie/FacilitiesSportlann.htm

    Substantially smaller than others and you lose space in the corners as it is oblong, not rectangular.


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