Greener School…

Glendale Countryside has recently completed the landscape construction of Dartington Primary School, one of Britain’s greenest schools. The school, near Totnes in Devon is preparing to start its first complete school year in it’s new home next week.
White Design, an award winning, inter-disciplinary design practice and consultancy based in Bristol, designed the school. Through their team of architects and landscape architects, the designers not only wanted to create a zero carbon building, but also a fully integrated sustainable external environment.
The school has been developed on a sloping green-field site beside a busy main road, with a southern boundary of mature trees looking out over farmland.
Commissioned by Interserve, the landscaping element formed £190,000 of the total £6.5 Million project. Glendale took six months to complete the initial landscaping and have a one year maintenance contract to ensure the establishment of the scheme.
Difficulties such as, restricted site access and adverse weather were overcome through the depth of knowledge of Glendale’s Landscaping team and effective, experienced contract management. Glendale used a LEAN Management technique in the construction process, which involved integrated project management, scheduling deliveries and instillation around other contractors during the main building process.
Each building cluster and year group have their own courtyard with a variety of play facilities, which the children have ownership over. There are several interactive features including a wetland zone, wildlife area, kitchen garden, and large sand pits. The nature area is located on the furthest perimeter away from the road near the existing wooded boundary. A number of mature oak trees form a key focus, which Glendale’s arboricultural team has brought up to the required safety standards. The area also includes a swale, pond and viewing platform, with wetland plants and supervised access to the water’s edge. Native woodland edge species have been planted to create a nature woodland walk and forms a key feature for the Forest School Group. Glendale responded to White Design’s innovative landscape proposal, delivering features such as the construction of a tyre wall, planted with wild flowers and herbaceous plants. The tyre wall provides an attractive solution to minimising sound from the road.
Glendale constructed a maze of bark play spaces and pathways, which wind their way around the modular style timber classrooms, and blend into the rural topography of the site.
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