Big tick for Passmores Secondary

Ilka Sobels
17 Nov 2009

Planning consent granted for £23m 'exemplar' school

Jestico + Whiles, with contractors Willmott Dixon, have secured planning consent for a new £23m building for Passmores School and Technology College in Harlow, Essex.

The scheme, unusually, is being procured outside of Partnerships for Schools’s BSF and Academies Programmes by Essex County Council through the SMARTE EAST contractor’s framework. It is due to start on site in January and will open in September 2011.

The context of Harlow, and of landscape-driven town planning, has strongly informed the design concept, which has been well-received by the Essex Design Review Panel.

Passmores School has been recognised by Ofsted as Outstanding, by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust as one of the top 100 performing specialist schools, and is in the top 1% of all schools nationally for value added. The new two-storey radial building, conceived in response to the ethos of the school, has a gathering place at its heart. Accommodating 1200 students, in six learning areas, the scheme has been classed by the Essex Design Initiative (EDI) as an ‘Exemplar’ project, the first project produced with Essex County Council funding to be awarded in this way. The EDI is an initiative in partnership with the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).

The naturally-ventilated design uses biomass boilers as part of its heat source. Clad predominantly in timber, it also incorporates a brown roof and night-time cooling. It will achieve at least a BREEAM ‘Very Good’.

“You have produced a stunning design. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us and for delivering something we can all be proud of," said Vic Goddard, Passmores' Head Teacher

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