Short-list for the Building Futures Awards

Over the next four weeks building up to the awards ceremony, we will be publishing details of the ten short listed schemes. Quotes have been provided by our judges who have remained impartial throughout the judging process.

Name of project: The Bushey Academy
Client: Hertfordshire County Council
Architect: Architects Co Partnership
Category: Design Excellence

The Bushey Academy is a new build school built adjacent to a refurbished 19th century building and located in a conservation area. This is a fantastic example of design excellence benefiting from contemporary architecture. The external materials used comprise of a combination of glass, brick, aluminium shingles and coloured render.

The school provides accommodation for 1350 pupils and the learning space has been orientated north east and north west to overlook the green belt and stay cool in the summer. The main entrance is a transparent façade consisting of a three story glass wall opening into the main atrium. Parkland to the front has been enhanced with new trees, paths and seating. At the centre of the academy is a grass quadrangle that the students can use all year with a rebuilt clock tower approved by English Heritage.

Peter Studdert said, “As soon as you enter the school you realise that this is a very special place that has resulted from a clear vision about how an Academy should work, and in particular how it should work as a social as well as an educational environment.”

Name of project: Royal Veterinary College, Student Village
Client: Ian Humphreys
Architect: Hawkins\Brown Architects LLP
Category: Most Sustainable Construction & Design Excellence

The Royal Veterinary College Student Village replaces previous accommodation and provides rooms for 205 students together with conference style meeting rooms and refectory. The project benefits from high levels of insulation and solar thermal heating which is estimated to provide up to a third of predicted hot water use. Hotel style key cards and holders are used to switch power on and off to avoid power being left on in empty rooms.

The accommodation blocks have been arranged to that all bedrooms face east or west and benefit from views out onto day lit spaces in the morning or afternoon. The site is set in the green belt so the design had to be sensitive to the rural setting. Using low maintenance and affordable materials such as wood and brick were seen as a sustainable option that can fit into the surroundings. Waste management plans resulted in 80% of onsite waste being recycled. The collaboration with the sub-contractor to minimise waste resulted in no timber off cuts that could not be used.

Peter Studdert said, “The design has responded well to its setting by breaking down the massing of the accommodation to allow views through the scheme, and the choice of materials reflects the materials of the existing campus buildings.”

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