furze school

client: L B Barking & Dagenham
contract value: £1.7m
completed: 2008

The project was an initiative of LB Barking & Dagenham Sure Start to build on and develop existing school, community and childcare provision at Furze Infants School.

The new building demonstrates a sustainable approach to construction using honeycomb clay blocks and insulation standards well above current building regulations. Solar thermal panels heat water for the kitchen and for the underfloor heating.The school has a nighttime cooling system, which uses natural ventilation to cool the school in summer. Natural materials and finishes were chosen for floors and walls.

The project houses four new classrooms for year 2 children with cloakroom facilities, a new hall and kitchen for the school, an extended Nursery linked to the existing, providing 40 places for full day childcare for under 3 year olds, 15 places for babies, a new home for Sure Start community activities, creche, shared staff base Sure Start offices and facilities and a new playground on the roof.

The rooftop playground is made safe with a stainless steel net which covers the roof and walls of the playground and rubber floor surface. The existing School has been made more accessible so that children, community and after school services are better served.

Extensive consultation has been a key part of this project to enable parents, governors, teachers and neighbours to participate in developing the project.

Photographs by David Spiro.