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27 Sep 2023


Construction of the first Net Zero school building in Essex has started on the extensive Beaulieu development in Chelmsford. The expanded Beaulieu Park School will create an additional 420 primary pupil places, to meet growing demands for places in the area.

Regional construction firm R G Carter has been working closely with Essex County Council, Ingleton Wood Architects and the developers of Beaulieu, Countryside and L&Q, to deliver and develop a sustainable design solution for the school with a low energy consumption target of 65 kwh/m2 per annum.

This new two storey building will include ground floor classrooms for reception and key stage 1 pupils and a nurture class space, with the upper floor designated for key stage 2 pupils. It will also provide a new sports hall, kitchen and dining space and externally include a range of recreational and soft and hard play areas, playing fields and a habitat area.

This environmentally friendly building has been sensitively designed in conjunction with Essex and Chelmsford City Council planners to integrate the approved planned proposal into the surrounding housing development. External and internal spaces have also been designed flexibly to benefit the numerous community uses that will benefit from this building as the local area develops.

To achieve net zero status in operational carbon, a variety of sustainable technologies will include PV panels and air source heat pumps to reduce the building’s energy used and maximise renewable sources coupled with a highly insulated building fabric with low air tightness formed by a timber frame structure constructed offsite to reduce deliveries impact to the local community.

R G Carter will develop social value benefits and community engagement as part of the construction delivery maximising opportunities for local residents, staff, pupils and community groups.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “Ensuring every child in Essex has access to an excellent education is at the heart of our Everyone’s Essex strategy and at the forefront of our vision for levelling up the county.

“This exciting new facility will provide high quality primary provision for the growing community at Beaulieu. As well as providing state-of-the-art facilities, it will be built to the highest possible environmental standards, helping us achieve our Net Zero ambitions by reducing the emissions caused by school buildings.”

James Donaldson, Principal of The Beaulieu Park School said, ‘All of us at the school and at our trust, The Chelmsford Learning Partnership, are looking forward to expanding our outstanding provision, for the benefit of the growing community. We are very excited at the prospect of working with lots of new families over the coming years, to provide the very best education possible for so many more children and whatever their background or ability.’

Martin Leach, Managing Director, Countryside said: “Commencing work to deliver a sustainable new primary school is another fantastic milestone for the residents of Beaulieu. Countryside and L&Q have invested an enormous amount in the community provision for this landmark development which, as well as eventually delivering 3,600 homes, will also benefit from a wealth of amenities and much-needed infrastructure. The addition of the expanded Beaulieu Park School is a fantastic example of this.”

The new Net Zero school building was procured though the Essex County Council Construction framework and is due to complete for the Autumn 2024 term.