Blog: Outstanding Customer Satisfaction SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Greenford High School

29 May 2019

Sponsored by Willmott Dixon

*** WINNER *** Greenford High School - submitted by Osborne

This project is an example of how early collaboration between the  contractor, client, end user, design team and the supply chain, can  deliver a solution that meets the needs of all the stakeholders, two weeks early, on budget and exceeding customer expectations.

Customers  need to ensure their stakeholders are in safe environments, see value  for money and provide facilities that are sustainable and adaptable for future generations, so the selection of the right contractor is imperative. Osborne’s ethos is to make their customers successful. On Greenford, this meant from the outset they listened to what the school and Ealing needed and provided a collaborative, trusting environment to explore how to do this - designing out what hadn’t worked for them in the past. The vision from the design team also needed to be achieved and they took on-board the experience and knowledge of their key supply chain partners to source the right design solution.

Through early collaboration with Ealing, the school and their facilities  management team, Osborne optimised site layout, accommodation, access  routes, landscaping and security strategies. As such they enhanced the  design to provide a more visually impressive and welcoming campus  entrance with links from new to old reception areas, whilst creating  distinct secure areas for the lower-form students.

“The project has run smoothly, deadlines have been met. We ‘get’ how  Osborne work, sharing our aspirations and carrying this throughout the design and construction process. We are jointly concerned in achieving  programme, design and cost targets – few other contractors feel as dedicated. We have clarity, if something needs to change everyone has input – this happens well.” Jason Lytton, Senior Project Manager, London Borough of Ealing

In more detail

This project involved the construction of a landmark building on a busy, operational secondary school site, accommodating two new forms of entry and 20 additional resource provision spaces. The school had a critical completion deadline, which was the new year 7 intake in September 2018; allowing for a 21-month programme from RIBA stage 2 to completion and handover. Therefore, managing the planning process to achieve programme was essential. Working collaboratively with Ealing, Osborne engaged in fortnightly surgeries to de-risk design development, supplementing formal pre-planning advice and incorporating Ealing’s requirements ahead of application. They satisfied all planning conditions upfront, therefore securing programme certainty.

The original brief proposed a volumetric solution in order to meet the timescales. However, following research and development into a standard design solution, Osborne proposed an offsite manufactured structurally insulated panel (SIPs) solution. This meant they could deliver the building in a 58 week programme from site clearance to completed building and also offer additional benefits, including a shorter mobilisation period, early access for the fit out of the classrooms over the summer holidays, more adaptable layouts, more time for client consultation and improved acoustic and environmental benefits.

Osborne's preconstruction team remained involved into the construction stage, ensuring continuity and transfer of knowledge and these relationships were key to the success of the project.  Their involvement included:

  • Ensuring Osborne agreed the contract sum six weeks in advance to meet the Ealing’s governance process
  • Holding weekly design/progress meetings
  • Helping deliver predictable, accurate costing information through early management of risks and early engagement with the supply chain
  • Organising comparable site visits for Ealing to help make informed decisions
  • Holding surgeries with Ealing planners to de-risk design development and secure project certainty

Their early involvement and meetings with the customer and school allowed Osborne to offer an alternative construction methodology of a SIPs solution that maximised improvements to the design and added the following value:

  • Time – SIPs concept allowed more client consultation time in comparison to volumetric
  • Flexibility – more adaptable internal layouts
  • Performance - improved acoustic performance
  • Quality – aesthetic and robustness of traditional construction
  • Sustainability - improved environmental benefits (U-values from 0.35-0.18 W/m²K and significant airtightness improvement designed to achieve 3m³/h.m²)
  • Innovation – BIM and SEBM energy modelling helped to achieved Ealing’s Fabric First approach and aided customer understanding
  • Financial – speed of construction saved 10 weeks off the programme at a saving of £90K
  • Compliance – automated hybrid ventilation achieves Facilities Output Specification

Osborne are satisfied this project has exceeded the expectations of everyone involved, particularly as it has led to future work with the same customer. 


  • Scored 80/90 by Ealing in the practical completion KPIs for customer satisfaction in the London Construction Programme
  • Osborne's alternative construction solution of SIPs saved the customer £90k and 10 weeks of the programme
  • The success of this project has led to a consecutive project with Ealing

For more details:

Visit Osborne

The SECBE 2019 Outstanding Customer Satisfaction Award is sponsored by Willmott Dixon.

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