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Plans for The Waterside Primary Academy in Nottingham get go-ahead

Proposals for a new school in Nottingham have been approved by Nottingham City Council. Reds10 are the Principal Contractor, with architecture and interior design by HLM Architects and landscape design by MAC Consulting.

The 1,400m2 The Waterside Primary Academy includes a 30 FTE place nursery and 210-pupil primary academy, as part of the Trent Basin Waterside residential development in the City of Nottingham. The single-storey academy building with appropriate classrooms, staff/administration spaces and main hall will also be complimented by soft planting throughout, with areas of short and long grasses, groundcover planting, native tree planting and a dedicated habitat area for study. Informal hard playground space will facilitate the link between the key outdoor play areas and the internal classroom layout. A fenced Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and grass playing field are enclosed by a soft landscape buffer around the perimeter of the site with tree planting to provide shade, shelter, and interest throughout the year.

Sustainability is embedded throughout, with air source heat pumps within the building and PV panels and windcatchers on the roof, in line with the energy strategy for the school. The Waterside Primary Academy will be one of the first schools in the UK to base its design on the updated DfE net-zero operation guidance, Spec21.

Like all Reds10 buildings, the school includes SMART building technology, which allows Reds10 and the school to analyse energy usage and production, generating accurate data to ensure that the building is operated at maximum energy efficiency going forward.

HLM have designed the exterior of the school to complement the surrounding residential masterplan and to provide a positive and nurturing environment to the pupils. To achieve this a simple and effective palette of materials has been used throughout the exterior.  The school will be primarily single storey with classrooms facing on to the playground to the north and south of the school.  The most public facing areas of the school – the main visitor entrance and hall spaces - are designed to closely match the surrounding masterplan by having a buff brick finish, with part of the upper floor being clad in large format fibre cement panels in a red-lilac tone that reflects the Greenwood Academies Trust branding.

The design proposals for The Waterside Primary Academy have been developed in close association with Greenwood Academies Trust, who will operate the school, and the Department for Education (DfE) technical advisors. It forms part of the DfE’s ‘Off-site Schools Framework’ and will be constructed using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) with 87% of the work completed off site in Reds10’s Driffield factory.

“We are delighted to receive the green light and see work now begin on the construction of The Waterside Primary Academy. It will provide much-needed primary school places for the families in the community, and we are excited to have a new member of the GAT family.”

Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive of Greenwood Academies Trust

“Reds10 are excited to be working on this project alongside DfE and Greenwood Academies Trust. The Waterside Primary Academy has sustainability principles at the core of its design and will set a new standard of performance for school buildings, under the latest DfE Spec21 guidance. Most crucially, our offsite system will allow us to provide the much-needed pupil places for the Nottingham area, quicker than traditional forms of construction. This is a very challenging site. There is contaminated land to remediate and Section 278 works to carry out. This on-site work will run parallel with our offsite factory works, providing programme savings to the client.”

Joe Shepherd, Director & Education Sector Lead for Reds10

“It’s fantastic to achieve planning approval for The Waterside Primary Academy which will provide a positive and nurturing environment for pupils. The design of the School will embody sustainability principles using the latest technology to generate its own power and achieve operation net zero through air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels on a green roof as well as improve the overall site biodiversity. We are looking forward to working on the next stage of development.”

Claire Wakelin, Head of Education at HLM Architects

Groundworks will begin on site in Autum 2023, with first modules arriving on site in spring 2024.

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