Latest designs for new £57m climate resilient West Sussex school released

Latest designs for a new £57m climate resilient school in West Sussex have been released.

Latest designs for a new £57m climate resilient school in West Sussex have been released. 

Atkins and Faithful+Gould, along with framework partner Cundall, have published the latest designs for the new school for West Sussex County Council (WSCC) - which aims to be the first in the county to achieve Passivhaus certification.

The new school is the largest project to be commissioned under a pioneering multi-disciplinary consultant (MDC) partnership agreement, entered into by West Sussex County Council and Faithful+Gould in 2018. 

The local authority is planning to build the new six form entry secondary school, with a total project budget of £57m, at Homes England’s Brookleigh development - formerly known as the Northern Arc - near Burgess Hill in Mid Sussex. 

The University of Brighton Academies Trust has been appointed to run the new educational facility which will be part of an ‘all-through’ primary and secondary school, planned as part of the wider Burgess Hill Brookleigh development. 

A planning application was submitted in August, which set out an ambitious sustainability agenda of climate resilience and net zero requirements integrated into the design, including ultra-low carbon emissions, an acute focus on energy efficiency, insulation, on-site energy generation and zero use of fossil fuels in the running of the building. 

A key design principle has been to place the building sympathetically within the natural landscape of the site whilst maintaining an optimum building orientation for daylight and sun penetration. 

The main building will be provided with crossflow natural ventilation for fresh air and passive cooling for ventilation, so that the school can remain open and with a pleasant internal temperature during heatwaves.

Lighting for the building will be provided using LED sources internally and externally and an automatic lighting control system will have daylight and movement detection, which will be time-zoned to improve energy performance.

Architect Richard Christmas, lead designer for Atkins, said: “The proposed school has been designed to promote well-being and educational attainment for all learners who use the building and create a project with a low environmental impact.”

Nigel Jupp, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for learning and skills, added: “This new secondary school will provide a high quality of education for local children and help meet the need for additional school places in the Burgess Hill area.

“By investing to create this innovative school we are demonstrating our commitment to reducing our environmental impact by cutting carbon emissions and focussing on sustainable projects.”

The scheme demonstrates a significant contribution to West Sussex County Council’s commitment to significantly reduce carbon emissions in its Climate Change Strategy 2020 to 2030. 

Further sustainable features will include natural drainage solutions, further tree-planting and inspiring outdoor learning areas as well as the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) for the structure, which has a significant positive effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

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