Willmott Dixon chosen for £21m Tarleton Academy

The contractor has been selected to build the Preston school, adding to its portfolio of “net zero carbon in operation” schools.

Procured through the Department for Education construction framework, the 750-pupil Tarleton Academy will be built on land adjacent to the existing school, which will remain in use until the new building is open in September 2023.

Facilities will include 36 classrooms as well as a range of sports facilities such as a 20m swimming pool for use by the school and local community, plus a fitness suite and multi-use games area.

Becoming net-zero carbon in operation will be achieved using an enhanced building envelope to maximise air tightness, alongside triple glazed windows. It will also benefit from renewable energy generation comprising both ground source and air source heat pumps.

The roof will feature an array of 1,500 sq m photovoltaic solar panels.

Willmott Dixon will also implement its “EnergySynergy” monitoring process, in which actual energy performance for two to three years after handover is compaed with energy performance targeted at the design stage.

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “Sustainability is at the forefront of our business and through our 2030 ‘Now or Never’ sustainability strategy, we have pledged that by the end of 2030 all our new buildings and major refurbishments will achieve net zero operational carbon.

“Through our work at Tarleton Academy, we are proud to be accelerating our commitment.”

Previously, WD has won recognition for the £38m Harris Academy Sutton, the UK’s largest Passivhaus-accredited secondary school.

The company has also delivered Hackbridge Primary School, the UK’s first Passivhaus ‘Plus’ education facility, which consumes only 75% of the 100% renewable energy it generates, selling the remainder back to the grid.

Willmott Dixon recently completed work on the £48m Merseyside Police headqusrters, while work is gahtering pace on the £120m Stockport interchange project, where the firm is main contractor.

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This is BRILLIANT. It is very encouraging to see this enhanced fabric approach being used, and also the measurement of real energy use to learn from any performance differences from design. Well done WD and Tarleton Academy!

Thank you PNW for covering this project. Please could you also report the embodied carbon figures for this project and their target Energy Use Intensity, to help understand the bigger picture.

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