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Innovative school opens in Bristol

Bristol Metropolitan College has officially re-opened with a raft of innovative building services features. The college is the second of four schools to be completed under the Bristol Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

The project to deliver the secondary school, which caters for 1,080 pupils, was led by Skanska and designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Buro Happold provided building services and environmental design.

High levels of insulation have been incorporated into the college to reduce heat loss and dependency on heating systems and exposed thermal mass has been introduced to reduce swings in temperature.

Stack ventilation and controllable openings are also used, with biomass boilers providing the majority of space and water heating, and rainwater recycled for flushing WCs.

Buro Happold associate director, Dr Mike Entwisle, said: “Bristol Metropolitan College shows that sustainable buildings needn’t cost the earth and can incorporate all aspects of design, from building form and window design through to the use of renewable energy. In this way, not only can the building be resilient to future changes in climate and use, but its environmental cost both now and in the future can be minimised.”

Launched in 2004, the government’s BSF initiative is an investment programme to rebuild or renew every secondary school in England. ICT forms a fundamental part of this investment, recognising technology as a vital tool to transform education.

BSF is the largest single schools capital investment programme for over 50 years. BSF will provide world-class teaching and learning environments for all pupils, teachers and communities in England.

Project team:

Client: Skanska, a member of the first-ever local education partnership (LEP) with Bristol City Council and Partnerships for Schools
Architect: Wilkinson Eyre Architects 
Services provided by Buro Happold: Building services, building simulation, renewable energy, and fire engineering