Tarleton Academy, Preston


Department for Education / Willmott Dixon



An out-dated secondary school is being replaced with a brand-new development including a swimming pool and multi-use games area (MUGA) to be made available for community use. Funding for the redevelopment has come from the Department for Educations £1 billion School Rebuilding Programme which has identified a number of schools across the UK as being outdated and in need of replacement. The three-storey, new facility will include state-of-the-art classrooms, science labs, dining space and main hall alongside the swimming pool and MUGA.

As part of the first tranche of zero carbon in operation facilities being delivered in line with the Department for Education’s sustainability specification there was an acute focus on ensuring the building was designed for both current and future generations, with adaption measures in place to respond to the effects of climate change. Several innovative renewable technologies including air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and photovoltaics have been implemented and we carried out TM54 calculations in order to determine the predicted energy use of the building.

The inclusion of a swimming pool within the academy brought with it several design challenges not least being the significant impact the pool would have on the energy profile of the building, to manage this we effectively split the TM54 calculation into two parts, one for the school and one for the pool.

This meant the school could achieve the net zero carbon in operation requirement for the school building, with full knowledge of what is needed in the future to achieve net zero carbon in operation for the pool, in line with the schools aspirations. 

A full CIBSE TM52 overheating analysis was undertaken using a weather file that represents a 2degC temperature rise, inline with the latest DfE requirements, to ensure that the school can operate comfortably for the foreseeable future. The school was also modelled using a weather file that represents a 4degC temperature rise with some easy adaption measures implemented to ensure suitability for future generations. 

One easy adaption measure which is a massive bonus for the school, is the ability to use the GSHP as a passive cooling system during summer periods when external temperatures rise, by pumping round cool water from the boreholes, utilising the existing pipework and heat emitters to effectively cool the building