Case study

Broadfields Primary School




Broadfields Primary School



Planting the seeds of success for a sustainable future

Broadfields Primary School believes education should inspire and excite children, and its buildings are a key part of that. Supporting SEND (special educational needs and disability) students is a key aspect of this vision, and the school needed to expand with SEND needs and sustainability needs as a priority. As a result of this, the school trusted Net Zero Buildings to deliver high-quality, healthy spaces, which supported high standards of teaching and learning.


Green Technology

Photovoltaic panels along the building roof to supplement energy usage


Highly-efficient lighting and heating controls

Minimises energy wastage


Controlled ventilation

To maintain high indoor air quality for the children and staff

About the project

Leading the way for the future of SEND education buildings

The space has been designed using Net Zero Building’s expertise in understanding what SEND children need. The facility includes a sensory room, therapy room and group room, as well as design features, including curved walls, which reduce the potential for surprise of people walking around corners.

The project was installed during term-time next to two live school teaching blocks. As a result, an innovative tunnel system was put in place, with extreme security to ensure no children could access the site. Following the success of another project on the Broadfields site in 2017, the school chose to work with Net Zero Buildings, as it knew it was capable of designing and delivering a supreme building that met specific SEND teaching needs and sustainability goals.

Increasing efficiency and quality, by making use of Brownfield land

Situated behind two existing teaching pavilions, the new 237 sqm building makes use of a largely disused part of the school grounds, providing three new classrooms for its pupils, a sensory room, therapy room, toilets and accessible toilets, an office and a cleaning store. Its design acknowledges and complements the existing school buildings beautifully, with super insulated timber-faced panels on its exterior – manufactured offsite for rapid, clean assembly – which also ensures maximum airtightness and minimal heat loss with an air permeability score of 1.19 m3/h1/m2

In line with the school’s sustainability goals, the new building boasts extremely high environmental performance standards by incorporating a mix of lean, clean and green technology. Offsite, lean manufacturing minimised energy use during the building’s construction, clean technology ensures local energy is used efficiently and green technology maximised opportunities for renewable energy on site.

To further this, the finished building also incorporates:

  • Green technology through photovoltaic panels along the building roof to supplement energy usage
  • A mono pitch roof (highest ridge 4.1m) to maximise natural daylight for students’ learning
  • Use of controlled ventilation to maintain a high indoor air quality
  • Highly-efficient lighting and heating controls to minimise energy wastage.

As a result, the building produces more energy than it consumes, which means the excess power generated can be distributed to the existing school buildings to further bring energy costs down.

Recognising the importance of the building’s internal environment, Net Zero Buildings also incorporated: mechanical heat recovery ventilation, sensor-controlled low-energy lighting and plenty of natural daylight from high-level windows to create a comfortable, manageable interior environment.

Low-energy-cost, high-quality environment

The school now has an incredibly energy efficient space, which will keep teachers and pupils warm throughout the colder months and cool in the summer months. This not only saves on energy bills, but also creates a comfortable and accessible learning environment for SEND students, supporting the school’s overall SEND strategy.