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The environmental strategy had the following core principles:

place the main classrooms on the north side of the building to allow them to benefit from constant, comfortable and functional north light and to be protected from excessive solar gains;

place a highly glazed, bright, airy circulation space on the south side to act as a passive collector in the winter and ensure all three storeys are open to allow it to create a ventilation stack in summer;

create routes for either direct or borrowed sunlight to enter each space, thus allowing the spaces to be more evenly lit from two sides and helping to create a more stimulating animated environment, without the negative effects of heat gain and glare;

optimise the depth-to-ceiling height ratios to ensure good daylight distribution;

use an exposed concrete structure for passive cooling and night-time ventilation;

use sustainable materials such as the outer frame and cladding;

insulate the building to a high standard and minimise cold bridges;

provide good acoustic conditions throughout; and - specify efficient building services.

Mark Skelly, Max Fordham LLP

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