Fabric First and MMC for Net Zero Schools

new school artists impression - net zero schools
Lytham St Anne's School - architect's impression

WORK BEGINS on the first net zero schools in the DfE’s Schools Rebuilding Programme, using pioneering modern methods of construction (MMC).

The Department for Education (DfE) has commissioned Wates Group to build Lytham St Annes High School, Littleborough Community Primary School and Nursery, and Whitworth Community High School under the DfE’s 10-year programme.

Procured via the DfE’s Modern Methods of Construction Framework, they are part of a batch of six schools that Wates Construction was awarded the contracts for in January 2020.

Once work is completed the schools will be net-zero in operation and are among the first schools built by Wates to these standards. The project is being delivered using Wates’ Adapt solution, a component-based school kit which offers a more sustainable method of construction, ensuring less waste and higher finished quality through its emphasis on offsite manufacture.

Net Zero Schools

Gary Campbell-Dykes, Education Director at Wates, said: “The construction industry has a huge role to play in helping meet the country’s ambitious climate goals, and this marks an important step in our journey towards achieving net-zero. Wates’ mission is to be a force for good, driven by our commitment to become the most sustainable, trusted and progressive business in the sector.”

The ‘fabric first’ approach is optimised to provide very high levels of insulation and air tightness. The schools will exceed the Building Regulations standards and ensure that heating demand and energy consumption is minimised, supplemented by the use of efficient heating plant, LED lighting, and simple controls.

Whitworth Community High School – architect’s impression

Project details:

  • Lytham St Annes High School (Lancashire) – delivering a new two-storey main school block and detached sports hall, with work due to be completed in 2023. All new build elements will be net-zero carbon in operation, achieved through a combination of enhanced building fabric, passive ventilation chimneys, mechanical heat recovery systems and on site offsetting of energy use through an extensive biosolar roof system.
  • Littleborough Community Primary School (Greater Manchester) – delivering two-storeys on land within the existing Littleborough campus, including 14 new classrooms, a library, a new sports/assembly hall, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and a 420-place primary school providing 60 places for each year group along with a 26-place nursery. The sustainable design includes an optimised thermal envelope with increased insulation and triple glazed windows, optimised window sizes to maximise daylighting together with rooflights and lightwells, enhanced ventilation with openable windows to classrooms and solar panels.
  • Whitworth Community High School (Lancashire) – delivering a new 750-place secondary school, comprising of a two and three-storey main teaching block with classrooms, main hall, specialist technology spaces. A minimum of 70 per cent of the building’s PMV (pre-manufactured value) will be constructed using offsite manufacturing techniques, while other sustainable aspects of the build will feature roof-mounted photovoltaics, biosolar green roofs, heat recovery systems, sustainable drainage systems, offsite engineered thermal envelope and electrical car charging points

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