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Lessons Learnt – Case Studies from Scotland & Wales

17 Oct 2023
Design, Construction & Delivery Stage

Sharing lessons learnt in delivering NZC in operation educational buildings
Jane O'Leary, Sector Director - Education & Rhodri Davies - Senior Sustainability Manager, ISG

The presentation will focus on the lessons we have learnt in delivering and operating NZC buildings. It will draw on the experience of three different buildings and the challenges in constructing them and sharing of real time data of them in operation.

The three buildings are: -

  • South Point Primary, Vale of Glamorgan – Wales’ first school designed as net zero for operational energy. Our ‘Performing Places’ system and first year's annual energy performance reports
  • Two Rivers Primary, Keynsham – appointed to deliver the first UK school targeting Passivhaus Plus certification for the DfE with 6 months plus operational data
  • The Entopia Building, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) - a deep retrofit to EnerPHit standards completed in summer 2022

Queensferry High School
Richard Wise, Partner, Ryder Architecture & Poppy Parsons, Head of Low Carbon Construction, Galliford Try

This presentation introduces Queensferry High School, the first of SFT’s Inspiring Learning Spaces Fund, and brings together the project team to discuss the design process, building aspirations, delivery and lessons learnt.

Queensferry High School is a six year, 1,200 pupil comprehensive school offering a quality education for young people. It also provides recreational facilities for use by the community out of hours. Built in the grounds of the existing school, which remained fully operational during construction, it stands close to the River Forth with commanding views of the Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage site, Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing.

The plan arrangement is based on a faculty model. This has reduced the typical heavy massing of the standard superblock school approach, providing a set of building masses that better respond to its semi-rural context in a timber cladding at upper levels and a fully glazed top level. The school is the first of its kind. Funding from SFT’s Inspiring Learning Spaces Fund ensured technological innovations for low carbon design could be implemented. Key design moves were made through environmental modelling to enhanced the overall building performance. This provided significant benefits to both the quality of learning environments for building users, their wellbeing and energy use.

The project supports its growing its community via the provision of modernised sports facilities for all to use. This includes a six lane swimming pool, fitness centre, dance studio and floodlit 4G pitch. A challenge typical on secondary school design is the successful integration of the MEP design with the overall building. On Queensferry, the usage of the BIM environment by both the design team, Tier 1 contractor and key subcontractors including MEP has been exemplary, with live manipulation and review of coordinated models the norm during on site technical meetings.


Sharon Wright, Senior Associate - the-Learning-crowd
Jane O'Leary, Sector Director Education - ISG
Rhodri Davies, Senior Sustainability Manager - ISG
Richard Wise, Partner - Ryder Architecture
Poppy Parsons, Head of Low Carbon Construction - Galliford Try



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