Creative Education Trust
Accommodating rising pupil numbers with a sustainable, future-proofed solution
The Hart School is a secondary education academy in Rugeley, Staffordshire, which prides itself on empowering every student’s personal growth alongside their education. As demand for limited places continued to rise – with 147 more students starting in 2022 than three years ago – The Hart School needed to expand to accommodate more students. Maintaining its high teaching facilities and educational environment was vital.
An air permeability value of 1.73m3/(h.m2) at 50 Pa (significantly lower than the typical value of 5 for a building such as this)
Maximum daylight design
Specifically designed to maximise the amount of natural daylight to support net zero in operation and offer the best learning environment
EPC A+ net zero rated
Designed embracing lean, clean & green technologies, the school generates more electricity than it uses, reducing running costs and helping to offset its carbon emissions
Net Zero Buildings designed the new building to replace an existing 1960s single-storey building on the same site…
This offered much-needed additional teaching spaces within the existing group of school buildings.
The building incorporates a new teaching block, comprising five classrooms, alongside female, male, and accessible toilets. It’s connected to one of the school’s existing buildings, enabling seamless transitions for students and staff between the old and new.
The new building applies a combination of lean, green and clean technologies to deliver a highly-sustainable solution, which achieves:
An A+ energy efficiency rating, supported by:
- Photovoltaic (PV) panels across the roof
- Super-insulated, extremely airtight, timber-faced panels to minimise heat loss
- Mechanical heat recovery ventilation
- Sensor-controlled low-energy lighting
- Design to maximise natural daylight.
An air permeability value of 1.73m3/(h.m2) at 50 Pa (significantly lower than the typical value of 5 for a building such as this).
Net zero in operation – meaning the school will generate more electricity than it uses, reducing running costs and helping to offset its carbon emissions.
As a result of the above sustainable achievements, the school is estimated to save £30 per m2 each year on its energy bills – which has the potential to achieve an approximate saving of up to £11,500 per year.
“It’s been wonderful to work so closely with Net Zero Buildings as it developed the Hart School designs. We understood the challenges associated with achieving a net zero environment on the existing school site, but we were keen to push further to ensure our investment was a sustainable one, and Net Zero Buildings enabled us to do this.
“We were extremely keen to work with Net Zero Buildings as it’s part of an educational framework, and we knew working with them meant lead times could be accelerated.”John Ward, director of estates and facilities, Creative Education Trust.
A flexible, offsite solution
The project was built using offsite solutions to increase sustainability and reduce carbon emissions, construction waste and energy consumption throughout the construction phase. This also meant the project could be completed under budget and up to nine months quicker than traditional, in situ construction methods.
The site did present some challenges, with different ground levels in the southeast corner, making installation more difficult. To overcome this, Net Zero Buildings levelled out slopes to ensure the extension was installed with ease. It also adjusted the building’s design, the lower ground levels meant the southeast corner couldn’t use PV panels for solar gain – so instead it incorporated larger windows to account for any shading that may reduce the building’s natural sunlight.
“We’ve had net zero aspirations for a long time,” comments Jon Ward, director of estates and facilities, Creative Education Trust. “But when the local authority asked us to take on additional children at The Hart School, these aspirations became more urgent, as we needed to continue to provide an excellent and sustainable learning environment for the children of Rugeley.”
Completed in October 2022, the 385m2 project – part of the Creative Education Trust – was designed with quality and sustainability top of mind, delivering a net zero in operation solution to support the school as it handles increasing student numbers, while also meeting its future sustainability goals.
See also, news showcasing the Hart School Open day for their new school building
John Ward, director of estates and facilities, Creative Education Trust
The project was completed in the spirit of partnership, and it was all achieved ahead of expectations, so we could accommodate the additional children as soon as possible.
Net Zero Buildings has delivered excellent teaching spaces that are sustainable for the children of Rugeley, and the work we’ve achieved together has enabled us to better understand options for further construction projects.
We’re very much looking forward to working with Net Zero Buildings in the future.