Fieldhead Carr Primary School, Leeds

Client: Leeds City Council

Location: Leeds

Value: £2.4m

Services: Architectural design, Feasibility, Project management, CDM advice, Interior design, Landscape design, Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Quality inspection, Space planning, Structural engineering, Quantity surveying

The scheme involved the expansion of the Fieldhead Carr Primary School from a one Form Entry to a two Form Entry (210 pupils to 420 pupils) in order to meet the requirements of Leeds City Council Children’s Services and school pupil place criteria in Whinmoor.

The development comprised of a new-build two-storey, eight classroom extension and refurbishment of existing reception area incorporating improved canteen facilities along with a new glazed link to the existing school building. The works also included additional WCs for staff and pupils.

Our close collaboration with the client and end-user enabled NPS to capture the vision of the school and then design to their requirements.

Externally a new pupil play area was incorporated with amphitheatre teaching space, additional staff and disabled use car parking, bike racks and improved pedestrian area with planting and seating that can be enjoyed by the staff and pupils alike. The landscape strategy entailed rerouting an existing footpath to maintain an established link to connect the school to the wider highway footpath network.

NPS’s project architect worked closely with the Planning Authority to ensure that the school’s vision and plans (including landscape strategy, signage and façade treatment) gained planning approval prior to tender, During construction the NPS project team and the contractor then worked closely together both on and off site to overcome any challenges and work through technical issues.

The school had to remain operational throughout the project which required careful segregation and planning to reduce disruption to the pupils’ curriculum. Close liaison and communication with the school ensured the impact of the project was kept to a minimum.

A glazed light well was created in the circulation space to allow natural light to spill into the space from roof lights above and openable windows to either end of the corridor. The corridor windows also create a visual connection with the wider site. The internal circulation spaces are also used for break out areas and small group teaching.

The new build extension was built to BREEAM ‘Very Good’ principles. The classrooms are designed to benefit from natural ventilation made possible via openable windows. Additional ventilation can be provided via a mechanical system in the ceiling as and when required. Notably, when the outside air temperature is cold (typically below 16 degrees), openable windows create cold draughts and therefore the mechanical system may be preferred.

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