One of the first DfE Net Zero schools, this flagship project was on budget, hit all challenging targets, and was built on time for the start of term. This was achieved by superb collaboration, true innovation, and managing a challenging live site with tight logistics, children safeguarding, and complex stakeholders.
Littleborough Community Primary School is a sustainability flagbearer for the Department for Education delivering an inspiring two-storey, 420-place school/26-place nursery, using innovative fabric-first options, pioneering MMC and an efficient footprint to complement a highly-insulated, airtight building envelope.
A Laingspan structure, the previous school was identified as not-fit-for-purpose due to concrete degradation; discounting refurbishment/remodelling. A complete demolition/rebuild was required on a constrained, logistically challenging site on Rochdale’s outskirts, on a live school site.
An east/west fabric-first strategy provided a predominant south face to absorb energy and north face to dissipate. The DfE Gen5 baseline design shape employs a two-storey rectangular building, creating an efficient footprint. The envelope achieves high U-values through triple glazed windows and extensive cold bridging studies/air tightness reviews.
Construction Partner Wates’ Group utilised their unique Adapt3.0 solution, meanwhile, prefabricated sections offsite. 2D panellised walls using highly-insulated timber panels – sustainable and locally sourced – were craned into site for the envelope, while the façade aesthetic complemented surrounding buildings.
Limited emissions were offset, and photovoltaics generating onsite energy reduce the school’s future energy bills. The concrete slab roof controls heating/cooling with natural ventilation via open windows to roof chimneys. Data/metrics from the school are being continually collected to inform future DfE builds and point the way forward.
Biodiversity was vital to onsite landscaping, with habitat areas, meadows and sustainable SuDS strategies around water retention to avoid dissipation into the local network, including a brown roof.
The much-improved modern facilities include large, inspiring learning spaces with hugely enhanced light and student comfort. New dining/hall spaces and refurbed sports facilities can be used by the local community. Wider benefits include £3.6m of community initiatives, an ‘excellent’ 42/45 CCS score, the creation of 39 apprentices/T-Level placement, and 1,500 training weeks.