Case study - St. Joseph's School

St. Joseph’s Secondary School


September 2021

St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush, Co. Dublin was founded in 1961. Today, they have roughly 950 students coming into the school each day. They aim to provide a secure and caring environment which promotes effort, achievement and the enjoyment of learning, where students develop self esteem, responsibility and self management skills in an atmosphere of respect and mutual support.

The principal of the school first got in contact with us in January 2021, they told us they were having issues with space in the school. St. Joseph’s Rush was originally built 60 years ago to cater for around 400 students, they now have more than double that. It is important to them that they use every bit of space available to them. They had some “dead space” in a courtyard that they wanted to utilise, they were looking for a semi-permanent structure to weatherproof the area to use for outdoor classes and recreational activities.

additional floorspace added


weatherproof recreational area


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the school grappled with the challenge of accommodating all students within limited classroom space while adhering to safety protocols. With an unused courtyard available, the school had an opportunity to expand on usable space, but concerns arose regarding durability, maintenance, and aesthetics. The school lacked sufficient recreational areas indoors, emphasizing the need for a solution that offered the best value and longest life-cycle. Additionally, St. Joseph’s rush is situated just 500 meters from the sea, worries about wind resistance and security added complexity to the decision-making process.


To address these challenges, a custom-made 28m x 13.5m semi-permanent structure was installed, effectively converting the unused courtyard into 378sqm of usable space. Groundworks included the installation of more permanent steel post fixings to mitigate risks associated with high winds. The newfound space was utilized for various activities such as coursework, physical education classes, and fundraising events like bake sales. Rigging one side of the structure off the school walls not only enhanced stability but also contributed to the aesthetic integration with existing buildings. To ensure the structure’s longevity and performance, scheduled maintenance visits from BILD were arranged, providing peace of mind for the school administration.



    St. Joseph's outdoor structure is used by hundreds of students everyday


    The amount of recreational activities provided by the school increased


    Allowed for the continuation of education and other school activities in a safe environment, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic

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