Synergy News & Blog: London Office

Merstham Primary School flood – When disaster strikes

Merstham Primary School flood – When disaster strikes

On 13 August 2020, Merstham Primary School (part of GLF Schools) was engulfed by not one, but two successive thunderstorms only a few minutes apart. The school suffered catastrophic flash flooding with 80% of the school affected. Footage of this devastating event can be found here.

Working with GLF estate’s team and the school, Synergy’s Building Surveying team implemented a rapid plan to get the school back into operation as soon as possible.

At the start of September 2020, only three classes were able to return back to site with the other children temporarily located across three other school sites.

With Synergy’s swift help, by the end of October half term the entire school were back on one site with 45% hosted in temporary classrooms on the playground whilst the main building was being refurbished.

Synergy’s team of Building Surveyors and Contract Administrators also delivered the work packages for the strip out and reinstatement works which were completed by February 2021. Our team’s quick reactions and expertise in school projects proved crucial in minimising disruption to staff and pupils.

Our team also worked with the EFA (Education Funding Agency) and the Department for Education to install flood resilience measures to ensure the school is now able to cope with future surface water run-off and extreme weather.

This included a permeable wildflower turfed berm preventing water cascading down from the playground into the school. Of added bonus, the berm also provides a wildlife habitat which the school hope to use for teaching. Planters have also been installed on the perimeter of the building, which connect directly into the rainwater goods from the steep pitched roofs, which also have the added benefit of providing an additional teaching resource. Other resilience measures, including the introduction of a secondary DPM were implemented within the reinstatement works to control the moisture levels with the main Victorian School building, whilst protecting the school’s charm and character.

Sadly, with the recent more uncertain weather patterns we are all experiencing, flash flooding events are becoming far more common. Schools have large hard landscaped areas, and this can put them more at risk. In 2020/21 our teams have had 15 flood remedial projects at schools.

Should your school need any further information on our flood support please contact

Wildflower Berm


Posted on 14/10/2021

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