This scheme to turn an unkempt piece of Metropolitan Open Land in North London into an exemplar carbon-negative development, includes new buildings for the relocation of Ashmount Primary School and Bowlers Nursery, and the refurbishment of the Cape Youth Centre to include an Ecology Centre, all set within a new community park.
The project was a rare opportunity for London to build new places of learning and community resource in an inspirational urban woodland setting. This was supported by good community engagement, community-oriented services delivered from the site and management arrangements which protect the future of the site and promote its use by a wide cross section of the community. Carbon-negative status has been achieved through minimising energy consumption, the use of on-site renewables and a gas fired CHP plant to provide heat & power to the buildings on site and to neighbouring, existing housing blocks.
The innovative approach to community energy distribution, has earned this project a BREEAM Outstanding Award for Highest Scoring Project in the Education Sector.
The project has been awarded £0.5m through the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) Low and Zero Carbon Schools – Pilot and Exemplar Projects initiative.
New London Architecture awards 2011 – commendation
2015 Royal Institute of British Architects Awards
High efficient façade
Biomass heating systems
Water-saving sanitary appliances
Sustainable building materials
Low-emitting materials and finishes
Sustainable sourced timber
Zero energy building
The vision for the Ashmount Primary School at Crouch Hill Community Park is for an exemplary, Zero Carbon in-use, high quality learning and recreational environment to be created on a neglected piece of Metropolitan Open Land in North London.
The development provides spaces for childcare, children’s and young people’s services and community use all set within an ecologically rich, safe and accessible community park. New buildings are provided for Ashmount Primary School and Bowlers Nursery and an electrical substation is remodelled and extended to house a new energy centre, youth club and ecology
centre. The development, when completed later this year, will be Carbon-Negative in-use with BREEAM Outstanding rating for the school.
Extensive engagement with all stakeholders, from those listed above, to Islington Borough Council Energy Team, Islington Housing, community and environmental groups - including wildlife trusts - and Local and Greater London Authorities has been fundamental in creating this exemplary sustainable community and infrastructure project for London.
The building has achieved a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating with a score of 90.49%.
- Site designated Metropolitan Open Land and of Special Ecological Significance, within the St Paul’s viewing corridor.
- Brownfield site containing a collection of derelict buildings and structures, a nursery and a youth centre housed in an old electricity substation.
- Single access road moved to southern boundary to remove vehicles from centre of the site, improve pedestrian routes and sightlines, and create a heart to the park.
- New buildings have been positioned so as to enhance perception of public realm while creating designated play areas for school and youth centre.
- New buildings have been orientated in such a way as to strike the optimal balance between maximising daylighting, minimising solar gain, privacy and views.
- No parking allowed on site other than for disabled and service vehicles.
- Bike racks provided in park; showers and lockers provided in primary school.
- No parking allowed on site for contractors and subcontractors during construction.
- Gas CHP network delivers heat and power to the buildings and park lighting. Excess heat is exported off site to adjoining Islington owned blocks of flats (currently heated by very inefficient old gas boilers). During winter, a biomass boiler provides top-up heating.
- Buildings designed to be low energy and low carbon (115 KWh/m2/yr and 35 KgCO2/m2/yr).
- Use of low-energy lighting systems and electrical goods.
- Solar glazing and solar shading tailored to particular orientation of elevation.
- High levels of insulation.
- Ecoplay WC cisterns are used in the school to collect greywater from showers and wash hand basins in the toilets. This is then used for flushing toilets.
- Rainwater collected from the roofs and used for irrigation.
- Use of brown roofs to reduce rainwater run off.
- In-situ concrete frame and precast concrete planks provide large spans, thermal mass and help future-proof building against climate change.
- ‘Omnicore’ precast concrete floors contain polystyrene to create depth while minimising use of concrete.
- Minimum 30% total recycled content used in construction materials.
- All timber FSC specified.
- Low VOC materials specified.
Indoor Environmental Quality:
- All habitable spaces in the new school building are naturally ventilated.
- All classrooms use the ‘e-stack’ low energy ventilation system which provides heat recovery in winter and safe night-time cooling. Controls monitor and respond to CO2 and temperature levels.
- High levels of daylighting achieved throughout the building.
Operations and Maintenance:
- Easy-to-use building controls.
- Use of Soft-Landings programme during construction and for three years post-completion.
- Extensive discussions with school, nursery and youth centre on types of controls and energy management of buildings.
- Contractor committed to minimum 90% site waste being reused or recycled.
- The site is an area of Significant Ecological Importance, with protected wildlife habitats, ecological diversity and a rare topography for London.
- Landscape design has been carefully considered to protect the existing ecology along the Parkland Walk, enhancing it where possible, and creating a new, biodiverse ecology where it has degraded.
- Use of brown roofs encourage biodiversity and reduce rainwater runoff.
- Use of bat and bird boxes incorporated into the external elevations.
- Location of new school, ecology centre and youth centre in this enhanced woodland park will help raise awareness of issues around ecology and sustainability
115.00 KW/m² (36.455 KBtu/ft²)
Annual carbon footprint:
35.00 KgCO2m² (376.737 KgCO2/ft²)
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London Borough of Islington
Penoyre & Prasad LLP
Penoyre & Prasad LLP
Building services engineer:
Davis Langdon , Aecom
BREEAM 2008 UK Education Outstanding