A new offsite slab system designed by architects from London studio Anyo was specified for the construction of a new horticultural education project.
Funded in part by a charity run by Sir Roger De Haan, the initiative will see a new all-weather classroom being built at Folkestone Academy for Key Stage 3 pupils, who will use the facility to study at the weekly attend horticultural and environmental studies classes.
The building, created specifically to support horticultural education in an eco-friendly, eco-friendly design, will be constructed of timber and prefabricated off-site in slab-shaped sections to minimize disruption to the academy and increase the speed of final construction.
Designed to the standards of industrial agricultural warehouses, the building accommodates classroom grow stations to provide hands-on experiences for students.
The project also includes rooftop photovoltaic installations to self-power the classroom and demonstrate climate change mitigation strategies. It will be a “vital element” in Folkestone Academy becoming a “flagship” eco-school and driving local education initiatives.
During the school holidays, the building serves as a base for horticultural-themed holiday clubs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Children who become more vulnerable during holiday periods are considered along with those who have the least access to the outdoors at home.
Studio Anyo CEO James Walsh, who has overseen the design and development of the new classroom, said: “We are excited to be working on this unique project that sees the benefits that offsite and MMC can bring to educational buildings.
“It shows how we can minimize our carbon footprint and work with subcontractors to deliver advanced construction projects. As architects, we always want to create groundbreaking developments that leave a lasting legacy.”
Steve Shaw, Headmaster of Folkestone Academy, added: “The new building will prove extremely beneficial to our plans to offer our students a wide range of hands-on, outdoor learning.
“We also see this as a flagship building for promoting environmental issues and highlighting careers and advancement opportunities in the horticultural and environmental science industries.”
By Matthew Neville – Correspondent, Bdaily
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