Swan School Oxford

Client Department for Education

Sector Schools and Colleges

Location South East

Value £26m

Along with its counterpart Meadowbank College, the Swan Secondary School was the first new educational facility of its type to be built in Oxford for over 50 years. Constructed on green belt land, the building had to meet rigorous planning conditions and satisfy the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) Output Specification, setting detailed targets for the environmental performance of spaces.

As well as establishing challenging green credentials for the building itself, the scheme also enhances the existing biodiversity of the surrounding area, creating wildlife corridors and promoting sustainable transport options with 700 bike spaces, linking into and extending the strong network of cycle routes and local paths.

To achieve a sustainable low energy school an air source heat pump is incorporated into the heating system for the sports centre and a green roof installed in the form of wildflower matting to the main buildings with sedum roofs to the cycle shelters. Timber cladding further embraces the sustainability of the school by using a low carbon finish.

The new building itself is intended to accommodate up to 1,250 pupils when it reaches full capacity, and has been used as part of the DfE’s Soft Landings pilot. Through this the team engaged in extensive consultation with the stakeholders and end-users to ensure the school management team was able to be up and running straight away in the maintenance and operation of the building.