We have achieved national recognition for our BREEAM sustainability work in the education sector after being shortlisted for two accolades at the Energy Awards 2021.
Senior Associate Rob Diamond is in contention to be crowned Lockdown Energy Champion of the Year after helping to achieve a hat-trick of 'Excellent' BREEAM ratings for new school buildings across Essex – which are now among the most energy-efficient in the UK.
The work has also resulted in Ingleton Wood being shortlisted in the Energy Efficient Partnership of the Year category with utility company Engie.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method used in construction.
It comes after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned humans are unequivocally driving global warming in a new stark report calling for immediate action.
Rob, who has worked in sustainability for over two decades, said: “I’m honoured to receive national recognition for our sustainability work. It’s even more humbling to see your hard work pay off in such difficult times.
“But this isn’t a time to celebrate with the IPCC report painting a stark picture. We’ve gone past the tipping point. The damage is already done. We can’t escape the consequences.
“We need radical action at a time of crisis, not just political rhetoric. The UK must become global leaders in sustainability. We all know the real CO2 emitters are China and India but we can show leadership and exemplify what can really be achieved with a green recovery and transformation from the Pandemic.
“We’ve got the technology and the resources, and with COP26 just round the corner, we can’t just talk the talk anymore. It’s time to start walking the walk.”
The two-year projects behind our double shortlisting were carried out at Uphall Primary School and Gearies Primary School, both in Ilford, and Mayfield School, Dagenham. New teaching blocks were designed and built to expand capacity and meet rising demand.
Each project achieved ‘Excellent’ BREEAM ratings, putting them in the top 10% of UK new non-domestic buildings. Ten categories including energy, materials, pollution, and health and wellbeing are assessed to provide the overall BREEAM rating.
Solar panels, natural ventilation and low NOx gas boilers were installed as part of a new sports block at Uphall Primary School and a design and technology block at Mayfield School.
A ‘blue roof’ featuring a sustainable drainage system along with solar panels and other BREEAM measures were installed at a three-storey teaching block at Gearies Primary School that will increase pupil capacity by over 750 places.
Rob, who also became one of the first people in the world to achieve the new International WELL Accredited Professional qualification earlier this year, added: “We were delighted with the new school buildings and achieving the ‘Excellent’ BREEAM ratings.
“But what feels better is knowing these state-of-the-art green buildings will stand the test of time, provide generations of pupils with a healthy environment, and allow headteachers to make immediate energy savings when budgets are tight.”
The Energy Awards celebrate innovation, best practice and business excellence at the forefront of the energy and sustainability sectors. The 2021 awards ceremony is due to take place at Grosvenor House in London on 22 September.