Plans for Brannel School at heart of the community with a culture of positive contribution
The new, purpose-built Brannel School is designed to provide students, staff and the local community with an inspirational and transformational learning environment. The school’s brief places its Performing Arts and English specialism squarely as the focal point without neglecting other areas of the curriculum; sets ambitious environmental objectives; seeks community engagement; and asks for a highly flexible design which will allow the school to reconfigure as timetables or curriculum changes demand.
Our design, achieved through extensive public consultation, puts Brannel at the heart of its community. That intense consultation led to an increase in the school’s gross area by 100 sq m, as we accommodated our client’s specific requests. The solution maximises use of space, and is both flexible and innovative, including: large central shared spaces and community facilities directly adjacent to the main entrance and theatre; shared circulation and activity space; directed learning spaces for very large groups, using flexible partition walls; extendable, reconfigurable traditional classrooms; an assortment of small and collaborative learning spaces; and external playing fields and MUGA which confirm to Sport England Guidelines.
The building is set to achieve BREEAM Excellent through a raft of measures: an energy-efficient building footprint and orientation; reducing CO2 emissions by improving U-values by 20% over Building Regulation requirements; minimising construction waste; using ground-source heat pump and solar hot water panels; ensuring 3% or more daylight to 80% of occupied rooms; natural ventilation to all classrooms; a green travel plan; enhancement of site ecology; and careful specification of materials according to the Green Guide to Specification. The landscape design respects the existing ecological features of the site and enhances its natural biodiversity while providing educational opportunities.
The community, visually drawn by the focal entrance area, will be engaged through out-of-school-hours use of the main theatre, sports hall, activity studio, external playing fields and MUGA, with dedicated changing block. A secure boundary internally ensures access to those facilities alone.
A project charter, created by embracing the Every Child Matters agenda, sets out our design considerations: child safety, physical and emotional health, enjoyment and achievement for pupils, a culture of positive contribution, and the school’s economic wellbeing. Our design has addressed every aspect of the charter. The new building will be completed in June 2011.