Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - Westvale Park Primary Academy

06 April 2022

Modern Methods of Construction

Westvale Park Primary Academy (submitted by Morgan Sindall Construction and Pellings)  

Modern Methods of Construction Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Finalist

The £9.8m Westvale Park Primary Academy (WPPA) was built for the Westvale Park estate, a new housing development of more than 3,000 homes. The two-form school, with a capacity of 420 primary places and 30 nursery places, was completed on 11th June 2021.

Key design elements of the 2,250m2, two-storey school include a timber frame for the main building, two canopies, a large main hall and a double-height sports hall. Externally, there are two large recreational fields that incorporate a multi-use games area, nursery space and a dual-use space for community use.

The client’s requirements for the school were to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and deliver the project in time for the school year: all these targets were successfully met. The building has an improved thermal performance to the envelope comparative with a traditional scheme, with a 25% reduction in pre-liminary energy use relating to elements such as site lighting. The construction is low-carbon by using sustainably sourced Scottish pine for the structure and timber composite windows, compared to more carbon intensive forms of construction, such as steel. Pellings ensured that the location of the new building would have a high g-value performance to reduce solar gain and glare whilst maximising the use of natural light. The building’s air permeability reached Passivhaus standards due to low levels of heat loss and minimal concrete use. An assessment of how to reduce waste and vehicular transport was undertaken pre-works and we were pleased to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’.

The key MMC aspect of the design is the Streif closed panel structural timber building system. This was manufactured offsite and delivered in sections with pre-installed windows, doors, plasterboard, insulation, external membranes and first fix components such as conduits within walls.

This project stands out because:

  • It utilises innovative materials and techniques which incorporate advanced sustainability and wellbeing properties
  • The programme was reduced by 23% compared to a traditional steel frame design. The school was handed over on time and budget despite the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The solution generated a huge carbon saving of 145.2 tonnes of CO2
  • With a design process expertly managed to maximise the quality benefits of offsite manufacture and assembly, the scheme was handed over with zero defects

More than £9.3m - 95% of the project’s value - in social value was created for the local area. This was generated via:

  • £2,407 donated to Donations With A Difference
  • 1,294 hours of pupil engagements
  • 50 hours + of volunteering
  • 100% of the timber was sustainably sourced
  • 96% of waste was diverted from landfill
  • 91% of project spend with 19 local SMEs

Key achievements:

  • Creating a highly sustainable school that not only met the Passivhaus standard by achieving an air permeability testing result of 0.83m3 litre per hour at 50 pascals but which saved 145.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

  • Reducing the build time by 23% simply by changing the design from a traditional design & build to the Streif panels.

  • CO2 emissions were reduced by 145.2 tonnes and transportation use was cut by an enormous 84,078 miles - that’s over a third of the way to the moon!


Client: Surrey County Council

Project Partners: Morgan Sindall Construction, Strief Sustainable Building Solutions, GDC, Pellings, David Miles & Partners, Hill Wood & Co (Landscaping), Aurora Academies


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Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.


About the Modern Methods of Construction :

This Award Category considers a number of factors that are convening to make offsite construction a more attractive solution than ever before and help address systemic failures including low productivity, low predictability, low margins, adversarial pricing, lack of culture for collaboration, limited R&D and investment in innovation and poor image.  More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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