Loddiswell Primary School - NPS South West

Client: Devon County Council

Location: Devon

Value: £2.9m

Services: Architecture, Project management, Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering


This new four-class school also includes a playing field, MUGA, vegetable patch and forest school. Sustainable features include PV panels which, together with the provision of air source heat pumps and fabric first approach, has achieved an energy performance score of -1 (A+ rated) resulting in a zero carbon (in design) facility and will provide income for the school.

Loddiswell falls entirely within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the concept of the building took precedents from the agricultural vernacular of the landscape.

The design of the building uses a highly efficient thermal envelope and maximises natural daylighting and ventilation. A prefabricated structurally insulated panel system (SIPS) was used as an innovative design solution for the superstructure.

The design expresses critical regionalism in its architecture, with incorporating an agricultural pallet of materials and forms. Its low massing is sympathetic to its setting, both to the adjacent residential buildings and to the surrounding conservation area. The stone was chosen to match the adjacent housing estate to create a connection with the surrounding residential development. The top band of cladding is open jointed vertical larch, with black breather membrane and black painted battens behind, to give the sense on an agricultural shed.

The M&E design adopted an air source heat pump solution to the heating. A 15kWh photovoltaic system which, together with the pumps and fabric first approach, has achieved a “zero carbon in use” certification. The photovoltaic system provides electricity for the catering equipment as well as additional “top-up” heating. The low energy approach also included wind catchers in the natural ventilation strategy. A new web based Building Energy Management System has been installed to enable the full control and monitoring of the building services.

The design set out to significantly improve on Building Regulation compliance limits and surpass targets. This has since been proven post construction by achieving a building air tightness score of 3.57m3/hr/m2.

An open swale has been incorporated as part of the Sustainable Drainage System (SUDS) scheme, which has been planted with wetland loving wild flowers to assist in the absorption of the water, increasing biodiversity and adding interest to the site for the staff and pupils.

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