Thamesview School and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy


Project lead
Ian Taylor, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Building type, sector and stage
Non-domestic , new build, schools, in operation/under construction, South East

Biomass, daylight optimisation, mixed mode ventilation, natural ventilation, solar thermal, underfloor heating, school

This project comprises of two schools from a series to be delivered jointly by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Kier via a design build arrangement.  The study investigates how different ownership, procurement and operational arrangements will impact operational performance.


Thamesview School Gravesend

Thamesview Thamesview layout Thamesview central atrium

Thamesview School Gravesend is part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, owned by the Local Education Partnership and rented by Kent County Council.  The new building completed in July 2010 replaced an existing 1960s building for 880 secondary pupils, and has been specially equipped to accommodate pupils with physical disabilities.
The two-storey building features a large day -lit filled central atrium, which acts as a core to five teaching wings.
A BREEAM Very good rating was achieved with a biomass boiler supplemented by two gas boilers, air source heat pumps, mixed mode ventilation, rainwater harvesting and the use of SUDS.
Initial examination of energy indicates the lighting in the teaching wings is higher than anticipated, although a main design driver was to maximise the amount of natural light.
Further investigation will be required for the automated lighting control system and occupant usage of the rooms, in the remainder of the in operation study.

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy


Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) is owned by the Academy
Trust and sponsored by Brighton & Hove Council and the Rod Aldridge Foundation.  Occupied in August 2011, it has been constructed on the site of the existing high school which will be eventually demolished, which houses 1150 pupils.
BACA is designed as an exemplar building using low energy and sustainable design principals to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, though daylight optimisation, biomass boiler, solar hot water, underfloor heating, and automatically controlled natural ventilation.  The solar hot water and biomass heating alone is predicted to reduce the annual carbon emissions by over
60% against Building Regulations 2002.
Initial findings for under construction study for BACA indicate control issues for the mechanical systems, a biomass boiler that has not been online for due to a variety of problems and a lack of reliable energy data due to metering issues.  This is contrast to the performance of the fabric which achieved an air tightness of 2.93 m3/hr/m2 as opposed to the 10 m3/hr/m2 designed.
Although several issues have been identified in both schools, the study has provided a valuable feedback mechanism to the delivery team for remedial actions and lessons for future projects.

  Thamesview BACA
Floor area (GIA) 8,058 m2 8,883 m2
Air permeability 4.8 m3/m2/h @ 50Pa tested
5.0 m3/m2/h @ 50Pa design
2.93 m3/m2/h @ 50Pa tested
10.0 m3/m2/h @ 50Pa design
Building regs estimate of CO2 24.2 kgCO2/m2/yr as built 14.2 kgCO2/m2/yr as built
BREEAM rating Very Good Excellent
EPC rating C (52) B (27)
DEC rating D (96) **
Measured electricity use 62 kWh/m2/yr* **
Measured gas use 82 kWh/m2/yr* **
Measured CO2 emissions 47.8 kgCO2/m2/yr* **
Occupancy 880 pupils, 110 staff 1150 pupils, 143 staff

*   Estimated from limited data (due to unreliable metering)
** Information not available currently