Environmental Building Award
sponsored by Big Green Book
Awarded to the school building project that can demonstrate a benefit to both the learning and local environment through its design.
2011 Winner: Crocketts Community Primary School, West Midlands
Crocketts Community Primary School last year received the Department of Education Award for Sustainable Schools by creating a school they all wanted through a commitment to the highest possible levels of sustainable construction and innovation. Since environmentalism runs throughout the school curriculum and their everyday activities, it was only natural that pupils would work closely with architects on the new designs for the school building from the very outset. Pupils decided 99 percent of materials would be recyclable; they got curved corridors, a ‘green roof’ and solar and wind energy; brightly coloured schemes were used; gardens and an allotment were factored in and sustainable drainage constructed. And it all worked well with the natural topography of the site. Crocketts teaches their pupils to understand their economic and environmentally conscious place in the world. Emboldened by the school’s growing sustainable expertise they are also helping to build a school in Gambia.
Sandal Magna Community Primary School, Wakefield
Since the ground-breaking eco school Sandal Magna Community Primary achieved its international Eco Schools Green Flag for environmental work, it has added two more and also gained an RIBA architectural award. While recognising achievement in sustainable development, education and management; continuously improving the environmental performance of the school, and in the wider community, the school has become a part of the learning experience for pupils. The novel structure, inside and out, is a standard-setter for Wakefield. The design draws from the localities industrial heritage, residential styles, factory chimneys and blends brick, timber and other materials to create eye-catching forms, shapes and textures – all with expansion room. Credit for this achievement lies particularly with the school’s pupils’ Eco Council, which meets regularly to discuss ways they can continue improving the school as part of becoming a more planet-friendly community. With over 120 years in the community, a new chapter is underway.
Beaverwood School for Girls, Chislehurst, Kent
Beaverwood School for Girls commissioned an eco-friendly building to house post-16 students and Social Studies faculty two years ago, and last year were dully rewarded with the Green Building Environment Award. The Governing Body aimed for an exemplary eco-build using environmentally friendly products and processes. A range of elements were included in the construction plan with efforts made to consider alternative improvements. Students, staff and partners engaged this project with input from the school’s Environment Club and, through existing partnerships, EDF Energy and HSBC. The aim: to achieve carbon neutrality with renewable energy technologies, using a ground source heat pump and solar photovoltaic panels, for instance. The building’s integrated design takes advantage of natural daylight and ventilation. Work surfaces are made from recycled bottle bank glass and there is a recyclable roof. An output display panel allows students and staff to see how much energy is used and, especially, saved.