The Barlow RC High School

Project: The Barlow RC High School
Capital Value: £9.5m
Client: Manchester City Council
Contractor: Cruden Construction
Architect: Ellis Williams Architects


The Barlow largely comprises of 1960’s buildings of lightweight construction and low floor to ceiling heights.

A strategic approach was taken to assess the condition and feasibility of refurbishing the existing facilities and providing a new science teaching block.  Key decisions were taken which enabled Boiler Plant and Electrical distribution to be kept in operation throughout the works.

With some limited decanting the buildings were retained in operation throughout the renovation process.


  • EPC B30
  • 32% improvement in CO2 emissions (Part L 2006)
  • Significant proportion of refurbishment in operational educational facilities
  • Existing buildings have low ceilings and high density occupation
  • Buildings remained operational whilst work was undertaken
  • Detailed programme of works to ensure continued operation
  • Achieves good Daylight factor
  • Improved Comfort Conditions
  • No cost premium for M&E or building