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Sandal Magna School, Wakefield: Sustainable school building study

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Sandal Magna School / Wakefield, West Yorkshire / Sarah Wigglesworth Architects / Completion date May 2010 / Predicted annual CO2 emissions 15kg/m²

This 210-pupil school, with a 30-place nursery, combines Austrian cross-laminated timber with locally sourced brick used for thermal mass. With the exception of the ICT room, the school is naturally ventilated. U-values exceed current Building Regulations by 10 per cent. Polyurethane insulation is mechanically fixed so that it can be easily removed and reused if necessary.

Childrens' Entrance

Ventilation provision ensures CO2 concentration does not exceed 1,500ppm during the day and occupants can manually lower it to 1,000ppm at any time. Classrooms have a ‘traffic light’, with green and red lamps, to indicate when CO2 levels exceed 1,000ppm. Dampers controlled by the building management system vary fresh air by opening vents in a window seat and at high level.

Garden View

A ground-source heat pump, powered by a 100m² photovoltaic array (funded by a £500,000 grant from the Low and Zero Carbon Schools programme), on the south-facing roof of the sports hall will provide all hot water and most heating. Clear rainwater pipes and allotment gardens will be used for educational purposes.

Project architect Mark Hadden notes that ‘these technologies are now mainstream, but were not when the project started five years ago’.

  • To see the original magazine article, which includes an annotated masterplan click here
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