The Michael Tippett School — a special educational needs secondary — was the first school in London to be built under the Government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. It provides state-of-the-art teaching facilities for 80 pupils and 60 staff. Our structural, building services and infrastructure engineers, along with our sustainability consultants, worked closely with Marks Barfield Architects on the award-winning scheme.
Sustainability was central to the brief. The form of the building and the building grid are determined by the cross section through the classrooms. Full height glazed curtain walling and high-level clerestory glazing maximise natural light and ventilation. An exposed concrete soffit maximises thermal mass.
The structural frame of the two-storey building combines external free-standing glulam columns with heavy concrete roof slabs and a composite supporting roof structure of flitched glulam timber beams. The in situ concrete first floor slab incorporates a cast-in proprietary void-former which helps reduce its weight.
The classrooms and main hall are naturally ventilated and cooled using controlled external vents. A small Combined Heat & Power (CHP) system services the hydrotherapy pool. The entire roof is planted with sedum, providing the school with insulation and a natural habitat for plants and small wildlife, as well as minimising rainwater runoff.