Irish Schools PPP Programme – Bundle 4

The Irish Government’s Department of Education and Skills (DoE) launched a PPP Schools Bundle programme to address the increasing demand in rapidly developing areas, with the intention to replace existing schools with new accommodation or provide new accommodation for existing schools.  

The purpose of the programme was to deliver inspirational high-quality teaching and learning environments for students through first class building solutions and state of the art facilities. The new schools would also increase opportunities for lifelong learning and boost economic prosperity within local communities, generating work for local businesses.  

Procured by the National Development Finance Agency (“NDFA”) on behalf of the DoE, the programme was a major investment in education infrastructure by way of public private partnership (“PPP”) arrangements.  

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The challenges

The Schools Bundle 4 PPP tender was the fourth project of the PPP Schools Programme, and the first public tender competition held in the Irish state, which had a BIM (Building Information Modeling) level 2 mandate as part of its ITN (Invitation to Negotiate).  

When the procurement process began in 2013, the Irish market was not fully mature in its ability to deliver BIM-level 2. Therefore, the Authority required a partner with expertise in BIM to design, build, finance, maintain and operate (DBFMO) the Irish schools.  

In 2014, Invesis was awarded the DBFMO-contract for Schools Bundle 4. Invesis provided 100% equity for the project and operational services over a 25-year period. Design and construction obligations were carried out by Building Contractor, BAM Building. Since operational, BAM FM Ireland have carried out operational management services at the schools. 

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Capital Value

The solution

BIM processes were integrated throughout the entire lifecycle of the project – from bidding to the operational phase. This led to greater collaboration, increased clarity and reduced risk. 

The design for each of the schools was reviewed keeping in mind that the individual premises were unique in their delivery. Nevertheless, each school a common set of core values which were set by the client, that provided a foundation for the education ethos in the design proposals; 

  • High-quality design – function and fit with the environment, character and form 
  • Good use of the site – built form and massing, scale and proportion 
  • Buildings and grounds that are welcoming 
  • Good organisation of spaces -spatial quality and variety 
  • The school environment -movement routes and lesson changes, security and safety measures for pupils and staff, use of colour and texture, maintenance and durability and sustainable schools 
  • Flexible design- short-term flexibility, adaptability and expansion 

The long-term success of the school facilities will be achieved by maintaining the building’s condition of appearance and performance throughout the lifecycle of the project. To accomplish this, the authority and our partners work with a consistent team who are there every step of the way, operating with transparency, ensuring all parties benefit from our reliability and performance.

Sharon Keane, Project Manager says, ‘Our focus was on providing the Authority with sustainable long-term investment and development solutions so that they could realise their ambitions, and deliver high-quality teaching and learning environments, where staff can help pupils fulfil their academic potential.’ 

She adds, ‘For us, every project is personal. We want nothing more than to solve the Authorities challenges to ensure our work leaves a legacy for the communities we serve’.