Forge Wood Primary School

Crawley, West Sussex
Persimmon Homes
Very Good

Passive cooling, natural lighting and a ‘fabric first’ design.

Forge Wood primary school is part of the wider Forge Wood development which has been developed as a sustainable urban extension and incorporates a wide range of facilities and services for 1,900 new homes.

Facilities include play spaces, cycle and footpath links, sustainable urban drainage, flood alleviation and ecology and biodiversity enhancement. The new primary school is an integral part of this development is designed as a two form entry school with expansion to a three form entry school allowed for in the design for future growth.

During the assessment process the primary school scored highly in the management section, owing to detailed stakeholder consultation through the design process with both West Sussex County Council as the LEA and also GLF Schools who occupy the school. The design and sustainability approach reflected their operational requirements as well as those in the planning permission.

Situated near to Gatwick airport the design team approached this development with a ‘fabric first’ approach. Here the external envelope and ventilation system were designed with future proofing in mind in the event that a second runway is provided nearby for Gatwick airport. As a result the building cooling is provided through passive design and building orientation which lowers the buildings energy demand.

The building has high levels of natural light including use of high level windows to share natural light through the building to reduce reliance on electric lighting. In addition glare controls were also provided to manage solar glare and sunlight into the classrooms.

The landscaping has enhanced ecology and important wildlife habitat and was designed to rely upon precipitation only, therefore no irrigation is required. The landscaping also includes attenuation tanks underneath the hard play areas which slowly discharges into the swale which feeds into the wider drainage strategy. This has helped to ensure that the risk of flooding is minimised for the wider site as well as developments downstream.