Education secretary Michael Gove is reported to have backed Westminster Academy to sue BDP in the High Court over defects with the building's ventilation system.Building Design
has reported that the £3 million claim, lodged at Technology & Construction Court subdivision, accuses BDP of 'negligent breach of duty' and breach of a framework agreement.
BDP was lead consultant on the AHMM-designed school, and reports suggest that the action relates to alleged faulty ventilation along with problems with the academy's sports hall, which has been experienced since the building opened in 2007. BDP was responsible for structural and service engineering.
The Department of Education is also claiming that BDP was mistakenly overpaid. A spokesman is quoted as stating: 'The ventilation air conditioning system and the block work in the sports hall have been inadequately designed. Because of that, it has required a lot of remedial work at the cost of the school. That required [the department] to make an additional funding grant to the school in 2008. The school could not make full use of the sports hall because of this. It has been an ongoing issue for a number of years.'
The £28 million Westminster Academy, located in Westbourne Green, includes a ventilation system designed to cope with windows sealed to cut out noise from the nearby A40.
AHMM director Paul Monaghan, earlier this year held up the multi-award-winning scheme as an example of why the Government should not slash spending on school design.