Northampton Academy wished to build  a new skills workshop to offer students a vocational education in construction.  Their proposal was to offer a course developing multi-craft skills in brickwork, painting and decorating, plumbing and plastering, approved by the Construction Industry Training Board.  Levels 1 and 2, incorporating further links with industry, would naturally evolve into a Diploma in Construction as the course became established as part of a 14-19 Vocational Curriculum.

Our scheme was designed to be flexible internally and extendable.  Our aim was to provide a centre that would be inviting to students, with easy access for all, providing workshop, seminar and teaching facilities, as well as a bistro and crèche.

The scheme would be constructed on brownfield land and would be part earth- sheltered with a green roof.  Sustainability was a key consideration in the design, including the sourcing of materials (local / recycled / renewable), the use of local trades and labour and part off-site manufacture. 

The design has would incorporate many sustainable credentials, including solar panels, photovoltaics, high insulation values, natural and passive stack ventilation and heat recovery systems, use of the building’s thermal mass, low energy lighting, building management / intelligent systems, rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

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