St John’s Marlborough, Wiltshire

Client: Beard Construction
Location: St John’s Marlborough, Wiltshire
Sector: Education
Service: Air Tightness Consultancy / Air Tightness Testing

Consolidation of two schools—Marlborough Royal Free Grammar School and Marlborough Secondary Modern School to form the Academy at Granham Hill. Prior to the consolidation of the grammar and secondary modern schools, the school operated on two separate sites. The new school for 1,635 students costing £26.5 million was officially opened by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2010. Further development by Beard Construction was the addition of a teaching building completed in August 2015.


Initially Stroma worked with the site management and design team to establish a robust and achievable air barrier line, facilitated by an on-site air tightness design review workshop and a detailed report of the identified areas of concern and possible solutions. During the build stage a full building audit was undertaken to identify any issues prior to the final air tightness test. The building was split into 5 separate areas, only accessed from the outside, but one test result was required for the whole building—therefore requiring a more complex 5-way balance test.


As the internal classroom blockwork walls were full height and the building was segregated into 5 areas a 5 way air tightness balance test was identified at an early stage. Stroma worked in close collaboration with Beard Construction from an early stage of the project, through design review and audit services. The final air tightness test was successfully undertaken out of hours, to avoid any issues with other contractors on site, and achieved a favourable result of 3.38 which was under the required target of 4.