The Summer Works programme is a national scheme that allows individual school authorities to undertake small-scale building works. The idea is they will be carried out during the summer months, avoiding any disruption to the school day. 

As part of the ‘Summer Works 2020’ programme, two large secondary schools – Haggerston School and Stoke Newington School – in the London Borough of Hackney underwent several renovations. As the nominated lifecycle and FM works lighting supplier for the Hackney Learning Trust, who were the client for this project, LightPlanet was an integral part of the upgrade. 

The brief was to replace all the existing fittings within all circulation areas of the three schools. Brand new LED fittings were required, and the whole project needed to be delivered in the summer holidays, and within the set budget. 

As with all state-school lighting projects, LightPlanet’s design goal was to provide the best quality solution at the best price. This is reinforced with two objectives; to benefit the children of the school, and to ensure public money is not wasted. This in turn saves taxpayers’ money, while also allowing the same amount of funding to be spread across more projects within the borough. 

It was important that the final installation matched the quality of the existing aesthetic, and exceeded its performance. This was a challenge, primarily because Stoke Newington and Haggerston had been originally designed to a very high specification. This included mixed high-end architectural, recessed linear fittings. Replacing these types of fitting is usually harder and more costly than standard products in standard ceilings. 

Between these two schools, 564 of the 921 fittings that were replaced were bespoke. This does not account for any suspension kits or other accessories. 

To ensure savings could be delivered without compromising quality, detailed surveys were carried out. This offered the necessary assurance that all replacement fittings, including standard ‘off-the-shelf’ products, would fit existing cut outs. Where standard products didn’t exist, LightPlanet partnered with Optelma to create bespoke fittings. 

The use of bespoke fittings benefited both the client and the installer. Labour time was reduced significantly, and so was the time required to ensure a neat and tidy finish. 

Optelma’s Quad basic profiles were highly suited to the needs of the project, which Optelma then adapted to meet the requirements. At Stoke Newington, a bespoke frame was created for the product to sit in, so the Quad profile could fit into the existing slots. 

Speaking of the project, Lawrence Harrison from LightPlanet said: “We have an excellent working relationship with Optelma. We have collaborated on many high-end architectural projects and have always found their service and aftersales support to be exemplary. 

“We approached them for this project because of their specialism in continuous and modular linear solutions, alongside their wide range of capabilities in this area. 

“Optelma were able to deliver the bespoke sizes needed for the project. The end product satisfied all of our requirements, as well as the clients.” 

Optelma’s solutions offer high-efficacy and performance, coupled with a 5-year warranty. A 50,000hr rated life ensures longevity. LightPlanet were also impressed with ease of installation and availability within the timescales of the project. Furthermore, they met the aesthetics and finish needed for the project, and the correct price point. 

In addition, the Quad profiles from Optelma utilise Osram LEDs as their light source, making them a sustainable and lower carbon solution. This aligns with London Borough of Hackney’s commitment to sustainability and a zero-carbon future. In 2019, Hackney councillors adopted a policy to take as many feasible steps as possible so the council delivers net zero emissions across its functions by 2040. This is a full decade earlier than the target set by the Government.  

Ensigna Construction also worked as part of the project, carrying out the installation and acting as the M&E contractor. 

Graham Watkinson from Optelma added: “It is always a pleasure to partner with LightPlanet. With our expertise in creating bespoke fittings, this project was a perfect match as we were able to deliver the elements they needed to fulfil the renovation. 

“The quality and longevity of our solutions also delivers exceptional value for money, which was imperative on this publicly-funded project.”  The upgrade works have improved the lighting in the school, offering a better learning experience for pupils. It was delivered within the tight timeframes and within budget, marking it a success.