Bicester Zero-Carbon Primary School will form a key part of the first phase of development of North West Bicester Eco Town, in the heart of rural Oxfordshire. The school sits within the Exemplar site, a pioneering development of 393 highly efficient zero carbon homes, which together will create one of the UK’s first true zero carbon communities.
The brief requires that the school be zero-carbon and strategies for achieving this have played a fundamental role in the design’s development. The school will be naturally ventilated, orientated to enable the production of its own electricity and will be heated through the shared district heating system. The structure of the school will be constructed from prefabricated timber panels; allowing for a shorter construction time and reducing onsite waste, which all work towards providing a BREEAM excellent rating for the scheme.
The school has been designed to be built over two phases, the first provides a 1 form-entry school, with a nursery, reception and generous teaching facilities, as well as informal learning areas and a large flexible hall. Phase 2 will allow for the expansion of the school to a 2 form-entry, meeting the demands of the surrounding eco town as it grows and develops. To embed itself within this growing neighbourhood, the school also provides community spaces, allowing local residents access to small group activities.
Externally the school will sit within a range of landscaped spaces, providing hard and soft sports pitches as well as flexible areas for outdoor teaching, learning and play.
Due to start on site at the end of October 2015, the school will be opening its doors to the first set of pupils and new residents in September 2016.