Designed by Atkins, a new zero-carbon secondary school in West Sussex has received planning permission from the West Sussex County Council. The school will be created at Homes England’s new Brookleigh development near Burgess Hill and will offer educational facilities to 900 local children. The building is designed to generate its own renewable energy on-site, eliminating the need for any fossil fuels. It also aims to achieve Passivhaus certification, the highest standard od energy efficiency a building can reach.
This is a really positive step forward for the proposed school, which has been designed to promote well-being and educational attainment for all learners who use the building and create a project with a low environmental impact. - Richard Christmas, lead designer at Atkins
According to the architects, the building will have net-zero operational carbon emissions. Its position provides maximum sunlight to nearly 1,000 solar photovoltaic panels, which will generate 296,000 kWh of energy a year. Daylight and movement detection will control the LED lighting, while fresh air ventilation will keep the school at a comfortable temperature regardless of outside weather conditions.
A network of walking and cycling routes will link the new homes with the school, local parks, and shops. This, combined with the position of the school, allows the Brookleigh families to easily reach the educational facility without the use of cars, further supporting a low-carbon lifestyle. The facilities integrated into the school include a Special Support Center that will enable children with special needs and disabilities to be supported to learn in a mainstream school.
The new school will run as part of an ‘all-through’ primary and secondary school named The Bedelands Academy. West Sussex County Council has approved capital funding of £57.060m to build the secondary school, making it the largest capital project the council has delivered. The facility is planned to welcome its first students in September 2025.
Earlier this year, Atkins also unveiled the design for a new Central station in Nairobi, Kenya. The project extends the historic station building, one of the city’s first stone structures, to raise its capacity to over 30,000 passengers per hour. Another building by Atkins, the Vincom Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has made it to the list of the 25 tallest buildings in the world.