Steel harvesting system to stone wash rainwater at Glasgow schools complex

Tubosider UK’s rainwater storage and harvesting system for Inverclyde Council’s new £44 million Shared Campus in Port Glasgow sees a new development in the use of its stormwater tanks, one specially designed for Scottish requirements.

The Slaemuir complex now under construction by GRAHAM Construction will become the new home for Port Glasgow High School and St Stephen’s High School as well as a new Additional Support Needs (ASN) School to replace Glenburn and Lilybank schools.

Michael Graham, Executive Chairman at GRAHAM, said the new shared campus at Port Glasgow is one of the most significant education projects it has ever been involved in.

“We have assembled a highly skilled, locally sourced team to work on this job and we are looking forward to starting construction on the site in earnest. This will be a unique, showpiece structure when it is completed in 2013 and GRAHAM is tremendously proud to be playing a part in such an iconic, keenly anticipated facility.”

The project is designed by a multi-disciplinary team led by Ingenium Archial Ltd as architects and lead consultant, working among others with Buro Happold as mechanical & electrical engineers and Watermans as civil & structural engineers.

For water cleansing north of the border, Tubosider redesigned its own system of helibore steel tanks to meet the particularly high demands of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

Not only did the specification meet SEPA’s requirement for primary treatment by forcing feed water into a granular layer at a lower level. The technical designs ultimately developed with and approved by GRAHAM and Watermans also saved considerable cost by avoiding 33 manholes which the originally intended crate system would have involved.

Under the Tubosider system, water passes into the pipes of a total of five tanks and out through the joints into a 300mm backfill. It then passes through small diameter pipes and out into manholes, having been polished and cleaned by the stone bed before exiting.

Tubosider’s system, with a deeper bed than usual for its stormwater management systems, reproduces the natural method of cleaning water. The six-figure contract is a major win for Tubosider in Scotland and could pave the way for many more.

GRAHAM Construction has a significant track record in building new schools around Scotland and is currently working on the £25 million Coltness High School in Lanarkshire and the £11.9 million Aviemore community school in the Highlands, among others.

However, as GRAHAM’s project manager at Port Glasgow John Mitchell said, using a steel tank system in this way was a first:

“We’d not used Tubosider before, but were introduced to them by a third party. The big challenge we faced was integrating the filter capacity within the design, but this was quickly expedited with Tubosider.

“Once the system had been design and prefabricated, we found handling and installation compared very well with other systems, based on robust components of minimal weight.

“Delivery and support were equally good, on-time with quick responses to required timescales. There was good follow-up, too, to ensure components arrived and that we were informed in advance of agreed supply dates plus the number of wagons expected.”

When complete, the new home for Port Glasgow High and St Stephen’s will give each their own distinct entrances, allowing their individual identities and ethos to be retained. Each school will have its own foyer area leading to its own teaching spaces, both foyers having direct access to a shared ‘agora’ or social hub of the campus.

The agora also connects with the ASN School and provides access to all shared facilities. These include an art, science & technology block which includes music, a shared sports block and a shared drama performing arts area linked to the assembly hall.

Leisure facilities include a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), fully equipped fitness suite and gymnasium and two all weather pitches. These will be available for community use. The ASN School will have a play area and its own smaller MUGA.

Download technical drawing