Bideford College

Recycled aluminium window systems from Sapa Building System have played a major part in an award winning sustainability project for a new school building - Bideford Community College in Devon.

Architect: NPS Group
Fabricator/Installer: Hazlemere
Main Contractor: Morgan Sindall

Over £40m of investment was used to transform a collection of red-brick Victorian buildings and typical 1970s & ’80s teaching blocks into an exemplar school to meet the needs of students and the wider community for years to come.

Main contractor Morgan Sindall and architect NPS South West worked closely with Sapa’s Project Consultant Dean Sherwood and Sapa’s technical teams to develop a specification for the fenestration, manufactured and installed by Sapa’s specialist contractor Hazlemere Commercial.

The school also intends to be a carbon-neutral site by incorporating cutting-edge technology such as biomass boilers burning woodchip, incorporating solar and wind generating technology and grounds that encompass parkland and wildlife promotion.

In 2008 it was awarded the accolade of Most Sustainable School, part of the inaugural Excellence in BSF awards run by the Partnerships for Schools organisation and designed to recognise excellence within the BSF programme. Projects from 19 local authorities throughout England were shortlisted. The college has also won a ‘Green Apple Award’ for environmental best practice.

Bideford College’s use of environmentally friendly aluminium demonstrates a genuine commitment to sustainability, as aluminium can be recycled again and again without the loss of quality. This is because re-melting of aluminium requires little energy, saving up to 95% of the energy required for primary aluminium production.

Sapa’s contribution to the planning process included a detailed plan to track the recycled aluminium through the supply chain, from extrusion to fabrication and installation. There was also project-specific advice on value engineering to remove cost without compromising quality and design details to improve the weather performance of the curtain walling.