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KINGSMEAD PRIMARY SCHOOL, NORTHWICH, CHESHIRE What is extraordinary about the best-practice credentials of Kingsmead Primary School is that, in both cold analysis of the figures and in the more subjective conclusions from the judging team's interviews, it came way out on top.

This is a particularly creditable achievement for Cheshire County Council. Local authorities in general have something of a reputation for not being the best clients. But Cheshire CC clearly set its best-practice agenda when starting out, by partnering its design-and-build team on a quality, not price, basis.

The excellence of the results may also be thanks to the adrenaline generated by the tight time constraints. The majority of the design evolved from blank sheets during a 10-week period of intense design work interspersed by full team meetings.

A fl exible approach was adopted so that when there were opportunities, 'additional funding' extras were designed and built in.

An example is the conservatory-like entrance porches added on to the classrooms' playground entrances. These reduce heat losses from the building and double as additional study and display spaces.

For projects which: involved processes adopted to understand and meet client needs; supported team working throughout; and maintained continuous improvement. Sponsored by May Gurney THE TEAM Client Cheshire County Council Cost £2.344 million Principal designer White Design Associates Structural engineer Mander Structural Design Contractor Willmott Dixon Construction Other firms Arup (M&E services), Mitie Engineering (M&E contractor), Lilleheden (Glulam frames)

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