HLM design school shortlisted for CIBSE award

23, December, 2013

Preston Manor Lower School has been shortlisted in the new building project of the year (value up to £10m) category at the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards.

The CIBSE Building Performance Awards recognise the businesses, teams, products and projects that demonstrate engineering excellence in the built enviroment.  The awards focus on actual, measured performance, not design intent or performance specifications.

The £6m, 420 pupil school, designed by HLM, opened in September 2011 and was built under an innovative, ultra-efficient £12m programme to significantly expand capacity for pupils in the London Borough of Brent.  HLM was the programme’s architect, designing two school expansion projects as well as the new-build Preston Manor Lower School, which was delivered via modular construction.

All three projects were delivered simultaneously in 12 months.  Alongside new provision at Preston Manor Lower School, the programme saw Newfield Primary School expanded from 1FE (30 pupil places per year) to 2FE (60 pupil places per year) and Brentfield Primary from 2FE to 3FE (60 to 90 places).

Preston Manor Lower School achieved a BREEAM rating of Excellent in recognition of its high level of sustainability.  The sustainability strategy includes extensive use of passive measures, such as passive ventilation, maximising natural light and excellent insulation values.  The school also has solar panels and an extensive green roof, while modern methods of construction further enhanced the project’s green credentials.

Cardiff University has been monitoring the design process and construction period, recording results from July 2012 to July 2013 to establish the known performance gap between design intent and built performance.  The University is continuing to monitor performance and is using the results as evidence in their research on performance gaps.  Initial results indicate that the building is performing as designed with respect to regulated energy use.

Paul Turpin, head of UK education at HLM, said: “The CIBSE awards focus on actual, measured performance, so being shortlisted for this award is a fantastic result.  Being more involved with projects after completion, including analysing post occupancy data and understanding how the shcool is using the building day to day, is cricital to ensure projects perform at the level at which they are designed.

“Preston Manor Lower School also demonstrates what can be achieved in a tight timescale and shows that excellent environmental sustainability need not suffer during a fast-track process.  By looking at the project holistically, we were able to build in energy efficiency at the concept stage, during construction and over the life of the building.”

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