Based around the DfE’s super hub model, our design was created for CBC to use as a template design on other sites. Our team used the CEM process during Stage 2 to develop the design and ensure the client’s aspirations were achieved. We also engaged actively with the school to tailor the design to meet their requirements. In order to keep costs down and create a strong sense of community, we made sure overall footprints were condensed and the external surface area of the building was minimised. R G Carter were appointed as part of a two-stage tender during stage 3 to work collaboratively with us to resolve potential construction issues before we started on site.
A hot rolled steel frame with SFS infill panels was chosen for speed and flexibility on the main three-storey teaching block. This building features a brick skin at ground floor for robustness and Rockpanel chameleon feature panels at higher levels to inject colour and interest into the design. The sports block also has a hot rolled steel frame and brickwork at the ground level. Internal walls are constructed of blockwork for robustness and the higher sections of the building are finished with an insulated panel and coloured translucent panels. These colourful panels catch the eye and also tie in with the main teaching block.
The teaching block’s design has a strong focus on the central atrium and dining area. At the heart of the school, this open and transparent space provides a community feel. Lightwells throughout the building allow plenty of daylight to enter and create bright and airy spaces. We installed PV panels on the roof and went above and beyond the baseline requirements for the school. The building adopted low U-values, reducing heating demands and carbon emissions.
Houghton Regis’ leisure centre is currently being rebuilt but will not include a sports hall. Houstone School’s sports hall has become a community facility, opening to the public outside school hours. This project has also provided links (connecting footpaths and enhanced cycle routes) to the surrounding developments, including the leisure centre.