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ADP is top of the class with 'green' school

Architects Design Partnership (ADP) has submitted for planning this design for a sustainable school in Sevenoaks, Kent. The 270-pupil infants school is conceived as an extension of the green belt in which it sits. The school's low, curved roof will be planted with sedum so that the surrounding pastureland appears to sweep over the building, while the hall and entrance are formally expressed as a blue cube and red triangle which burst through the roof.

The deep-plan, flexible building is arranged around two winter gardens, and rooflights provide additional ventilation and light. All classrooms face south towards the playing field, with full-height glazing leading to outdoor teaching spaces.

The design has been independently audited under the Building Research Establishment's 'Design Advice - Towards Greener Buildings' initiative. The analysis covers a range of issues, including siting, building fabric, water economy, energy management, material selection and environmental issues. A detailed travel plan is an integral part of the proposal, with a 'walking bus', upgraded footpaths and crossings, and a managed dropping-off area aimed at minimising car journeys to the new school - a recent survey indicated that Sevenoaks has more cars per household than anywhere else in the UK.

ADP won the commission in competition, beating Brookes Stacey Randall, Arup Associates, Kent Property Services and Barnsley Hewitt and Mallinson. Construction work is due to start in the spring with completion a year later.

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