Kingsmead Primary School

Completed in July 2004 for Cheshire County Council, Kingsmead was the practice’s first primary school commission, which has since become a model for environmental school design in other parts of the UK.

About this project

The Project

Completed in July 2004 for Cheshire County Council, Kingsmead was the practice’s first primary school commission, which has since become a model for environmental school design in other parts of the UK.

Created as an exemplar of sustainable design and construction, from its orientation on site, to the selection of natural materials, use of natural ventilation and daylight, and renewable heating.

The visible timber structure creates a strong practical and symbolic aesthetic inside and out, and allows pupils contact with this natural material. Winter gardens create pleasant spaces for study or rest. Every classroom has uninterrupted views of green space. Rainwater is harvested for toilet flushing.

The use of timber glulam beams has enabled continuous structural members to extend from exterior to interior without the need for a thermal break. High thermal insulation in roof and walls, photovoltaics, solar hot water panels,a biomass boiler and an automated natural ventilation system combine to reduce energy consumption to 40-60% below that of conventional new buildings – enough to pay for an extra teacher every year.

At a glance

  • Glulam portal frames, split into two equal halves and erected back-to-back to form a sequence of M shapes which cantilever upwards and outwards
  • Boiler fuelled by local timber fellings and offcuts
  • Western red cedar cladding
  • European maple veneered plywood panelling (internal)
  • Solid bamboo flooring in main entrance

Awards

  • Winner of the Small Building Project Award, British Construction Industry Awards, 2005
  • Winner of the Best Practice Award, British Construction Industry Awards, 2005
  • Shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Buildings Award 2004. 

Source: Supplied to wood for good by BRE in a pdf of case studies.

Key contacts

Main Contractors

Willmott Dixon

Structural Engineers

Integral Structural Design

Timber Suppliers

A Frame Rectors
Jewson
Theobalds (cladding)

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