25th September 2023

Works complete on phase 2 extension at St Gabriel’s School

Sustainably designed CofE primary school gets ready to receive first pupils

We recently visited our primary project at St Gabriel’s CofE primary school, with the building works completed and the teachers settling in, getting ready to welcome the new cohort of pupils. In 2015, we gained consent for a 3FE school to be delivered in phases with the community, growing with additional blocks, to minimise disruption to existing pupils.

The initial phase delivered the full-sized core spaces and classrooms for 1FE, and opened in 2018. Following the success of Houlton, and growing pupil demand, Phase 2 was scheduled to be in place by 2023.

In preparation for this, Urban & Civic asked us and Etude to undertake a simple post occupancy analysis of Phase 1. Designed with gas heating and natural ventilation, to comply with Building Regulations, our POE showed relatively high energy use and variability in the ventilation quality and comfort. Consequently, our design for the new classrooms utilises hybrid ventilation with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR), has a much more energy efficient envelope, and is fully electric. It is designed to achieve the AEBC Building Standard.

Our modelling suggests the new block will have c. 16% of the operational carbon of Phase 1. When combined with the use of a timber frame to reduce the embodied carbon, its Whole Life Carbon (60 years) will be about 43% of phase 1, and will sequester about 140 tonnes of CO2.

The school was recently the recipient of a regional LABC Award for Best Public or Community Building, and is in the running for the Grand Final!