The clear brief for sustainability set by the local authority and close working with the school has created a building which is an innovative exemplar of sustainable design within a very restricted budget.
Whitecross is a new school on a green-field site at the edge of Hereford. It replaces a town centre building that was in very poor condition. It is a community school with places for 900 pupils aged 11 to 16, and a specialist sports college. When funds were confirmed in 2002, the school appointed a new management team to lead the school through the procurement process, and the move to the new buildings. The local authority set a strong sustainability agenda which was described in the PFI specification and a ‘Green Team’ was formed that established targets and evaluated the bids.
Stepnell Ltd. were selected by Herefordshire County Council as the preferred bidder in May 2003. They had appointed Haverstock Associates as their architects, together with a number of specialist sustainability consultants. Construction started in November 2004, was completed in June 2006 and the school moved into their new buildings in September 2006.
During the bidding stage Haverstock Associates worked as closely as possible with staff and students to determine the exact needs of the school. This process of close collaboration continued after the selection of the contractor, through the detailed design stage.
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