Marjorie McClure School

Client Department for Education; London Borough of Bromley

Sector Schools and Colleges

Location South East

Value £16m

Marjorie McClure School is a new build SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) school in the London Borough of Bromley. It is a 100-place school for students aged 4 to 19 with a range of different complex needs which include physical, medical and/or moderate or profound learning difficulties and disabilities. The building itself includes a hydrotherapy pool and accessible teaching and learning facilities, stretching across a single-storey building, complemented by an outdoor classroom and growing areas. The new school will be as inclusive as possible, allowing easy and independent access to all the facilities.

A Sustainability Pilot for the Department for Education

The project to re-build the school has been selected to be part of a Sustainability Pilot by the Department for Education in response to the UK Government target to achieve net-zero ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions by 2050. Three goals have been identified as integral to the future development of school communities and estates: Reducing Energy Demand, Greening the School Estate and Creating Resilient New Schools.

Reducing Energy Demand

The new building for Marjorie McClure School is designed to reduce the need for energy use. Our daylighting strategy includes a window design which balances daylight and overheating by the use of external shading but also a careful consideration of natural light and ventilation to reduce energy use. Our ventilation strategy meets the key drivers of creating a comfortable environment for the students and staff and having a lower energy requirement resulting in reduced energy usage for the school. Heating and hot water generation is fossil fuel free by means of an air source heat pump and photovoltaics are included on the roof which will generate energy to be overset against overall usage. The building will be constructed from timber Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) which have the benefits of enhanced fabric performance through the inclusion of additional insulation and triple-glazing, again resulting in reduced energy running costs for the school. The SIPs system will also allow the building to be manufactured off-site and assembled on-site benefiting the programme, quality and the overall sustainability credentials of the project by reducing embodied carbon.

Greening the school estate

The scheme makes the most of the site by providing an accessible outdoor classroom using the existing mature oak tree as a centrepiece, a pond and forest school area. Within courtyards, there will be sensory gardens, an animal care area, performance space and growing areas, which are accessible. These additions will enhance the curriculum by including planting to complement subject areas such as food technology, history, science and English. Biodiversity will be further increased by the inclusion of a bug hotel, bee hotel and sparrow flats.

Creating resilient new schools

The requirement to create resilient new schools is based on the need to future proof against the potential risks of climate change. Our scheme includes additional area to allow for future technologies to be included and to allow for future flexibility.