New state of the art teaching hub at Meole Brace School nears completion
A new ‘state of the art’ teaching hub at Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury is nearing completion following several months work, as part of Shropshire Council’s ambition to create sustainable education provision with future school expansions.
The project, designed by Shropshire Council’s PSG (property services group), has been contracted to Read Construction, and is one of the first to drive the change towards more sustainable projects to meet the council’s 2030 carbon targets.
The new two-storey building will form the language teaching ‘hub’ for Meole Brace School and will also have an external recreation area.
Five classrooms will be provided along with a small group meeting room, a staff room, toilets and storage. The building will occupy a prominent site at the front of the school campus and be built to the highest modern standards; and will also be ‘zero-carbon’.
The project is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings.
To further boost the environmental credentials, it has been built to the very stringent ’Passivhaus’ Classic standard, the first for the council and for Shropshire. This will result in a highly efficient building that consumes very little energy and delivers very high levels of comfort for all users of the building. A Passivhaus is a building in which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling the fresh air flow required for a good indoor air quality, without the need for additional recirculation of air.
An event was arranged recently to provide an update of the development, attended by Shropshire Councillors, officers from Shropshire Council, PSG and Read Construction.
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, who attended the event, said:-
“I was delighted to see the progress to date on what will be a fantastic new facility for Meole Brace School. It was great to be able to see and learn more about the design and construction of the new teaching hub building firsthand, and ask questions to which PSG and Read Construction expertly fielded answers to.
“Pupils will benefit from a state-of-the-art learning environment and the very latest facilities to help make sure they get the best possible outcome from their education.
“The new teaching hub at Meole Brace School is one of several projects we are investing in to secure high-quality and sustainable provision of primary and secondary places in Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.”
Dawid Cloete, Read Construction Director, said:-
“Read Construction are delighted to be working with Shropshire Council and PSG to deliver Shropshire’s first Passivhaus scheme, prioritising net zero carbon emissions whilst delivering a state-of-the-art education facility. The project represents an important milestone in Read’s own zero carbon journey, and is a beacon for the future that all stakeholders should be proud of.”
Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy, added:-
“As a rural county we have a huge part to play in achieving net zero carbon emissions, and it’s important that we all work together to make it happen. Addressing the impact of climate change has been adopted as one of the council’s key operational principles.
“We’re working in partnership with many local businesses and communities to develop a wide range of carbon management projects and initiatives which will help us all reduce our contribution to the carbon footprint of the wider county, as well as ‘leading by example’ by improving our own performance.
“We’re therefore delighted about the new teaching hub’s environmental credentials. It’s excellent to be part of a project that could help set the standard for future buildings and significantly contribute to our climate change ambitions.”
The new teaching hub is scheduled to be completed later this Autumn term 2021.
Expansion of Meole Brace School
The Meole Brace School development programme will include further expanding the secondary provision of school places in Shrewsbury by constructing a new five-classroom teaching block at the school. The school is already taking in additional pupils over and above their published admission number.
The project will involve the development of a new teaching block on the edge of the school site. The location will allow the construction of the new building to be carried out with minimal disruption to the operation of the day-to-day education of pupils at the school.
The project forms part of significant investment to expand primary school and secondary provision across Shrewsbury to meet the increasing demand for pupil places across the town and surrounding areas.
The Shrewsbury School Places Programme also includes the Haughmond Federation new build at the Harlescott Junior School site on Featherbed Lane, and the new primary and special schools in Bowbrook, off Squinter Pip Way.”
The new teaching block is scheduled for completion in the Autumn term 2021.
The Meole Brace School project was designed, up to planning by the council’s PSG team, and the contract was awarded to Reads Construction under a design and build project.
Shropshire Council’s PSG (property services group) are a dedicated, experienced, locally- based team of property professionals with vast experience and knowledge of building maintenance and design. PSG comprises of a team of architects, quantity surveyors, building, electrical, mechanical, land surveyors, engineers, clerk of works, facilities management, business support and finance. The team pride themselves on creating, managing and maintaining inspiring facilities, housing, teaching spaces and venues.
PSG provides an award-winning multi-disciplinary design service which can ensure that clients maximise the potential of their existing buildings. Using the latest state-of-the-art software, incorporating building information modelling (BIM), PSG deliver sustainable and cost-effective building projects. They can also co-ordinate any funding opportunities.
Everything they do at PSG reflects the commercialism, and the enterprising and forward-thinking vision, of the team. The team aim always to be at the heart of the greater vision for Shropshire and its surrounding areas, affecting business, culture, community and academic excellence.
PSG work for a range of clients within the council, and external clients including Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, housing associations, schools and academy trusts.
- BREEAMis the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Environmental Assessment Method, first launched in the UK in 1990. It sets best practice standards for the environmental performance of buildings through design, specification, construction and operation. You can find out more here.
- Passivhaus is an international energy performance standard with buildings constructed to the Passivhaus standard. The core focus of Passivhaus is to dramatically reduce the requirement for space heating and cooling, whilst also creating excellent indoor comfort levels. This is primarily achieved by adopting a fabric first approach to the design by specifying high levels of insulation to the thermal envelope with exceptional levels of airtightness and the use of whole building mechanical ventilation. You can find out more here.