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Willmott Dixon to build £21m net zero Preston school

Willmott Dixon has added to its growing portfolio of net zero carbon in operation school projects with a £21m job to build an academy for 750 pupils in Preston.

The new Tarleton Academy will be built on land adjacent to the existing school, which will remain in use until the new building is open in September 2023.

Its facilities will include 36 classrooms as well as a range of sports facilities including a 20m swimming pool, new fitness suite and multi-use games area.

The academy will be net-zero carbon in operation and this will be achieved using an enhanced building envelope to maximise air tightness, alongside triple glazed windows.

It will also benefit from renewable energy generation comprising both ground source and air source heat pumps.  The roof will also be fitted with 1,500 sq m photovoltaic solar panels, offsetting all energy used on site.

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said the Tarleton Academy would further benefit from Willmott Dixon’s EnergySynergyTM process.

This will see a team of zero carbon specialists compare actual energy performance for a period of 2-3 years after handover with energy performance targeted at the design stage, ensuring there is no difference in operational use against that predicted when designed.

The delivery of Tarleton Academy is the latest ultra-sustainable education project by Willmott Dixon.

It follows the award winning £38m Harris Academy Sutton, the UK’s largest Passivhaus accredited secondary school. The company has also delivered Hackbridge Primary School, the UK’s first Passivhaus ‘Plus’ education facility, which consumes only 75% of the 100% renewable energy it generates, selling the remainder back to the grid.

Last month, the company was also appointed for a £29m net-zero carbon school build at Silverwood School’s Rowde campus in North Wiltshire, extending the existing campus to provide a high-quality environment for 350 SEND pupils by September 2023.


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