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Construction News Awards Project of the Year (under £10m)

Winner: Interserve – Richmond Hill Primary School

Richmond Hill Primary School in Leeds has been designed and built by Interserve with a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions.

Built on behalf of Leeds City Council, the school uses up to 80 per cent less energy than a conventionally built equivalent-sized facility.

Its carbon emissions are also 60 per cent reduced without having to include a source of renewable energy on the development.

Instead, the school follows Passivhaus design principles to create the most efficient building envelope for thermal performance and air tightness, supported by optimum heat recovery systems.

The single and two-storey steel-framed buildings will provide accommodation for a three-form entry primary school, nursery and Autistic Spectrum Condition Unit.

Offsite-manufactured, timber structurally insulated panels are used for wall and roof construction that combine high quality manufacture with excellent air tightness.

In other parts of the building, greater energy efficiency has been achieved by reducing the effects of cold bridging that encourages heat loss.

“Great use of offsite manufacturing, community and client engagement and a passionate team leading an engaged supply chain”

Judges’ comment

Foamglass, a high strength cellular glass insulation material normally used in the petrochemical industry, has been used in the piled foundations to reduce cold bridging between pile caps and the steel frame.

Passivhaus-certified high efficiency air handling units have also been installed and air tests have revealed that the final tightness of the building is 20 times better than that required by Building Regulations.

Despite these high standards, the project was also built to budget and delivered two weeks ahead of programme.

Interserve is now building on its experience at Richmond Hill and developing its knowledge of how important thermal bridging and airtightness are to running an energy-efficient building.

It has now adopted a ‘fabric first’ approach when working on new designs to ensure building envelopes are as energy-efficient as possible, ensuring future savings for clients.

Interserve’s strong relationship with the school helped develop clear objectives for the project. It also integrated the design and supply team to ensure details were robust, buildable and to the rigorous Passivhaus standard.

Interserve estimates that if Leeds City Council were to convert all 177 schools to Passivhaus-certified buildings, then a saving of £4.6m per year would be realised solely in energy savings, against an estimated current spend of £7.4m per year.

Highly Commended: Mansell – Tynemouth Station Restoration

This railway station and its Victorian cast iron canopy were restored sympathetically while the station remained open.

“The team have created a vibrant building which brings the community together”

Judges’ comment

Highly Commended: GF Tomlinson Building for Si Yuan Centre – School of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham University Jubilee Campus

Both buildings are exemplars of energy efficiency and high-quality design, built using a local supply chain.

“GF Tomlinson Building is to be commended for having two projects make the shortlist”

Judges’ comment


Base Structures/ISG Up at The O2

Galliford Try Civil Engineering England and Wales West Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme

GF Tomlinson Building Institute of Mental Health

Mansell Tynemouth Station Restoration

Morgan Sindall Grontmij JV Cudworth WwTW

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