Waverley School is a new £20m school that has been introduced in the Bordesley Green area in Birmingham.
Created under Birmingham’s progressive BSF programme, Waverley School is the first school throughout the city to have a capacity of 1,800 learners from the ages of 4-18.
The school was created utilising a steel frame, clad in brick, with a highly insulated cavity which achieves a final tested air tightness far below building regulations. This level of air tightness helped the project to achieve its environmental strategy and is a testament to onsite workmanship and rigorous detailed design.
The architects that worked on the development is Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, an award-winning company that has worked on several projects in sectors including arts, conservation, education, health and residential. The establishment designed the site in conjunction to Birmingham City Council’s transformational learning programme where flexibility and adaptability are key principles to the design of educational spaces.
Arranged in a series of subject lead clusters, the school integrates its own centralised teaching space as well as direct access to an external terrace. The external teaching terraces punctuate the elevations to bring natural ventilation and daylight into deep pan spaces and allow passive solutions to be utilised. The highly efficient brick façade provides exceptional levels of thermal performance and air permeability allowing the building to achieve an extremely low carbon output.
Waverley School understands the importance of the social role amongst the local community and to support this, spaces have been delivered that are comfortable to inhabit, low maintenance and energy efficient; whilst the balance of the project’s educational, contextual and financial constraints has been taken into consideration.
The design brief was to provide a building that supported the school’s teaching methodology and all facilities necessary. Central heart spaces were included to form a division between primary and secondary age teaching, with smaller spaces providing destinations for various subjects. Fully integrated furniture and graphic designs are in place to embrace the classroom identity.
The building has a traditional brick construction, inherent in the local area of Birmingham with its industrial buildings and dark brick Victorian railway arches. Brick was chosen as the principle façade material due to its environmental benefits and history in Birmingham, in addition to its durability in a school environment resulting in low maintenance costs for the school and potential for recycling in the future.