St. Joseph’s RC Primary School, Sunderland


City of Sunderland Council




Structural and Civil

The design of a new primary school and associated parking, landscaping and play areas to replace the existing facilities.  On-going use of the existing buildings required the new school to be built on the playing fields; upon completion of the structure these were demolished to make way for a drop off area, parking and a Multi-Use Game pitch.

Surface water discharge from the site was required to match existing even during the temporary condition of both schools in place, resulting in a sustainable drainage system incorporating rainwater harvesting and underground storage tanks.  Subsequent advice from NWL regarding historical surcharging and flooding of the existing drainage system required additional modifications in the form of a surcharge outlet and non-return valves.

The placement of the structure over an existing NWL culvert and within an in-filled valley necessitated the use of piled foundations, a decision borne out by the subsequent discovery of an historical World War 2 air raid shelter within the footprint of the building.

Key Features

  • Flood Risk Assessment.
  • Flooding and surcharging of existing drains in combination with phased development and high temporary discharge.
  • Striking architectural and structural features.
  • Structure spans over major culvert running through the site and large depths of made ground.
  • Historical bomb shelter discovered during excavations within building footprint.

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