Clements Primary Academy

“Anyone dreaming of creating a new primary school elsewhere should visit Clements and copy it.” – Michael Wyldbore-Smith, RICS Award Judge

The Brief: As part of the SOR programme, Suffolk County Council wanted a new primary school that, as well as being sustainable, would provide flexible social, group and mixed educational environments for the pupils and allow community use through the provision of flexible public and private areas.

The Scope: Utilising our experience in designing quality and functional educational buildings, we worked collaboratively and pro-actively with the school staff, pupils and community to ascertain their needs; suggesting options that had not even been considered by the stakeholders. We created all the internal and external designs for the school, to not only meet the educational requirements of the teachers and the 210 pupils, but which would serve the community and provide a low carbon footprint to support the sustainable principles of the client to reduce energy costs. We also managed the pre-contract process and appointed the contractor and structural engineer. We then project managed the scheme through to completion.

The Result: Completed on time and to budget, the Clements Primary Academy achieved a BREEAM rating. It won the RICS 2013 East of England regional award for community benefit and was highly commended in the Community Benefit Category at RICS 2013 national awards, where it was up against the Olympic Park project in Stratford. It also won an RIBA Suffolk Craftsmanship Award for Brickwork in 2012.

The school covers 1,700 square metres over one storey and includes the following features and facilities:
• Sustainable features including a biomass boiler, solar collectors and a sedum roof
• Use of natural light and ventilation
• Formal games pitches and multi-use games court; informal hard and soft play areas
• The design has taken advantage of the topography of the site to incorporate gentle slopes and terraces, with timber retaining walls giving a feeling of protection and enclosure to the play areas
• There is a large wooded habitat area and a wetland habitat area which forms part of the site drainage strategy and sustainable credentials of the design
• The public areas are accessible throughout the day and secured from the rest of the school

“The play space, PE facilities and outdoor learning opportunities are excellent and we all love learning and working in the light, bright purpose-built classrooms and activity spaces. The building is warm in winter and cool in summer and the biomass boiler appears to be cost-efficient as well as a talking point.” – Lesley Farrow, Headteacher