Watts sustainable school project shortlisted for two RICS awards


A sustainable school development project managed by Watts Group PLC, leading property and construction consultants, has been nominated for two honours at the RICS London Awards 2013.

The Preston Manor Lower School development in Wembley, London, has been shortlisted in the Design & Innovation and Infrastructure categories at the prestigious event, hosted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Watts was instructed by Brent Council to manage the design and build of the school, from feasibility to completion in just over 12 months, to provide a class of permanent primary school places by September 2011. The aim was to deliver an all-through educational facility on an existing school site that was both flexible and adaptable, providing a sustainable asset to the community within a very short timescale.

Watts procured the contractor using a two stage process via the Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise (IESE) Framework, and fast tracked the design process. An innovative construction methodology, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), was used as the main construction material in order to speed up construction, deploying standardised, pre-fabricated components wherever possible.

The development included an integral landscape and access road design, as well as the installation of a new all-weather hockey pitch and improved drainage to the existing sports pitches to the senior school.

Following completion, the project was awarded a BREEAM rating of ‘excellent’, which confirmed its sustainable status. Preston Manor was also recognised at the British Council for School Environments (BSEC) Best of British Schools Awards 2012, with an Excellence in Design for Innovation.

Cullum Alexander, a director in Watts’ London-based Projects Consultancy Group, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work on such a distinctive and aspirational building in terms of the sustainable design and construction, while ensuring that the critical pupil places were created in such as short space of time.”

The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment. The winners will be announced at a presentation evening at the Landmark Hotel in London on 2 May.

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