Littleborough Primary School is one of three Wates is delivering in the North West. Credit: Wates Group

Wates starts on three net zero schools

Construction has begun on Lytham St Annes High School, Littleborough Community Primary School and Nursery, and Whitworth Community High School – all part of the Department for Education’s Schools Rebuilding Programme.

Wates will be using its “Adapt” solution to build the schools. “Adapt” is described by the company as “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”.

Upon completion, each will be net zero in operation. These schools will be the first ones to be built to these standards by Wates.

To reach a net zero operational goal, each school will be built using a “fabric first” approach to ensure that they have a high level of insulation and airtightness. That should keep both energy consumption and heating demand low. Wates will also use an efficient heating plant, LED lighting and simple controls to keep the buildings net zero.

These schools are just the first three of six that Wates is appointed to build for the DfE.

“We are delighted to be supporting the Department for Education on this exciting and innovative project, delivering one of the first net zero schools in the UK,” said Gary Campbell-Dykes, education director at Wates.

“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,” he continued.

“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, and we have now delivered more than £500m worth of school construction through our ‘Adapt’ solution, which offers a more sustainable method of construction, and delivers efficient buildings and services for our customers.”

Here’s a brief look at each project:

Littleborough Primary School, Wates Construction, P Wates

Rochdale Council approved the plans for Littleborough in August 2021. Credit: via Lexington

Littleborough Community Primary School – This project involves constructing a two-storey building with 14 new classrooms, library, assembly hall, multi-use games area. Wates is also charged with building a 420-place primary school. In terms of sustainability, the scheme includes triple glazed windows, optimised window sizes, enhanced ventilation and solar panels. Ellis Williams is the architect and Ares is the landscape architect. Curtins is the structural and civil engineer for the project. CSD and Prism are the mechanical and electrical engineers. Other team members include Space Zero as FF&E, Nexus as ICT, Stroma as acoustic consultant and OTR as fire consultant. Avison Young is the planning advisor.

Lytham St Annes, Wates, P Wates

Fylde Council granted planning permission to the project in August 2021. Credit: via Lexington

Lytham St Annes High School – The project includes creating a two-storey school block with a detached sports hall. Work is slated to complete in 2023. Passive ventilation chimneys, mechanical heat recovery systems and a biosolar roof system will help the school be net zero in operation. Sheppard Robson is the architect.

Whiteworth Community High School, Wates, P Wates

Rossendale Council granted planning permission to the project in July 2021. Credit: via Lexington

Whitworth Community High School –This project focuses on building a 750-place secondary school with two and three-storey teaching blocks. The new school will have specialist technology spaces as well as traditional classrooms and the main hall. Wates said that a minimum of 70% of the building’s pre-manufactured value will be made offsite The building will also have solar panels, a green roof, heat recovery systems, EV charging points and a sustainable drainage system. Sheppard Robson is the architect for the project.

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