Blog: Sustainability SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Greatfields Zone 2

17 June 2020

sponsored by Mulalley

Sustainability SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Greatfields Zone 2 (submitted by Mid Group)

*** Winner! ***

Greatfields Zone 2 - submitted by Mid Group - is an outstanding project, taking the delivery of Greatfields Zone 1 school and improving to deliver a better outcome second time around.

The first £4.5m phase was delivered in 2017 to accommodate a brand-new secondary school in Barking. The second £9m phase was delivered in 2019 to accommodate the continued growth of the school. 

The Mid Group and the client, LB Barking & Dagenham, have collaborated to ensure the outcomes for the second phase exceeded the first. To do this, the first meeting on the second phase was a 'lessons learnt' based on the outcomes of phase 1, hosted by an external consultant, Currie & Brown. This session involved a wide range of stakeholders, including end-user (school), borough, architects, engineers, and key subcontractors. This session was used to identify what went well and what could be improved. 

The Borough committed to an innovative procurement approach, with all parties who engaged with the lessons learnt session being given the guarantee of the same role on the Zone 2 project, as long as they were able to deliver to the same price (effectively 5% continuous improvement as 2 years later) and factor the lessons learnt into their work. All parties signed up.

Outcomes included:

  • Delivery for the same £/m2 as the project delivered 2 years earlier.
  • A programme saving of 3 months over the first phase.
  • An AFR of 0.0.
  • Constructed to Net Nil Carbon.
  • An improvement in energy usage from 73.15/m2/yr to 55.24/ m2/yr. This is a 27% saving against anticipated rates, which will reduce energy bills by a commensurate amount, which immediately feeds back into the school’s budget.
  • An improvement in building emission rates from 9.62 kgCO2/m2/yr to an outstanding 5.55 kgCO2/m2/yr.
  • An improvement in the EPC score of 21 down to 10 (the lowest the assessor had seen for a fully air-conditioned building, essential to futureproof the school against climate change).
  • Over 75% of the project value being delivered using offsite solutions, a 10% increase on Zone 1.

The project has been constructed using Mid Group’s Manufacturing Led Construction approach, which involved an innovative hybrid offsite solution of SIPs and Precast Concrete. The approach also reduced waste on site, with only 1 tonne of waste sent to landfill. 

The project has been delivered using 16 manufactured components that have been repetitively repeated throughout the construction process. The components are all BIM modelled, with full cost, programme and lifecycle data. 

The Greatfields School is sustainable in its construction and design. The use of exposed precast concreted soffits allows the thermal mass to assist in heating and cooling. It also allows the windows to reach the full height of the soffit, improving natural daylight and reducing reliance on artificial lighting.


  • Greatfields Zone 2 shows exceptional continuous improvement over Zone 1, at no additional cost.
  • The outcome achieved is exceptional and was within a DfE budget.
  • The achievements were the product of collaborative working between the client, contractor and supply chain.

About the Sustainability Award: 

High environmental and climate performance in construction aims to meet present day needs for housing, working environments and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs in times to come. It seeks to limit impact on the natural environment and demonstrate whole life sustainability. It is most effective when organisational culture, high design quality, technical innovation and transferability are abundant.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

Recent Blog Posts

SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - Bicester Heritage
13 May 2021
sponsored by Artelia Group
Read More

SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - hub by Premier Inn, Shoreditch
13 May 2021
sponsored by Artelia Group
Read More

SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - Long Curtain Moat
13 May 2021
sponsored by Artelia Group
Read More