Stanhope Barrington Primary Academy Bishop Auckland

The Challenge

In November 2023, during a critical term time at Stanhope Barrington Primary Academy, the heating infrastructure faced a significant failure. With the system beyond repair and the winter chill setting in, the situation demanded an urgent and innovative response. The challenge was compounded by the discovery of asbestos within the ducts housing the original pipework, rendering them unusable and necessitating a complete redesign of the heating distribution system.


The Solution

Quora Group stepped in to tackle this daunting task, armed with its expertise in MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) solutions. The primary objective was to ensure the school remained operational throughout the term, avoiding any disruption to the students’ education. This required a meticulously planned phasing strategy, allowing work to proceed in segments while ensuring that areas of the school were heated and safe for occupancy as soon as possible.

The first phase involved a detailed survey to design a new pipework system that circumvented the existing ducts. This innovative approach not only addressed the immediate heating needs but also future-proofed the school against similar issues. Quora Group’s engineers then embarked on the delicate task of decanting areas of the school, ensuring that each section was vacated, worked on, and then made live with heating before students and staff were moved back in.

This phased approach allowed Quora Group to systematically renew the heating convectors and install new pipework services throughout the school. Despite the complexities and potential hazards, especially considering the asbestos and the need to work during busy term time, the project proceeded without any health and safety incidents or accidents. This achievement speaks volumes about Quora Group’s commitment to safety and adherence to strict health and safety protocols.


Outcomes & Benefits

The outcomes of this project were significant. Not only was the school able to remain fully functional during the works, but the heating was also restored in a phased manner, ensuring minimal disruption to the educational environment. The strategic decanting and phasing plan were crucial in achieving this, allowing Quora Group to navigate the challenges of working in an occupied school effectively.

The successful completion of the heating system refurbishment at Stanhope Barrington Primary Academy during term time is a testament to Quora Group’s expertise, careful planning, and commitment to safety. The project not only resolved the immediate crisis of the failed heating system but also ensured the school’s infrastructure was enhanced for the future, all achieved without compromising the safety and comfort of the school’s occupants.



  • The failing heating system was repaired successfully in 6 weeks
  • The project was completed without disrupting education
  • Energy efficiency of heating system was improved by 10%
  • A warmer, more comfortable environment was created for staff and children

“May I take this opportunity to thank you and your team for a successful delivery of works at Stanhope Barrington Primary Academy. I am delighted! The CEO of the trust, who is new to Eddisons, and Deb, have seen first-hand how both Eddisons and Quora Group Ltd are able to deliver capital funded schemes, especially when there was substantial pressure on the CEO/school to remain open despite no heating. I know that CEO and Deb think highly of you personally and the team on site - in particular Dan for his communication skills. Please pass this appreciation on to the wider team. Well done and thanks again.”

Adam Finch BSc

Director at Eddisons

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