HighHam Church of England Primary School – New Classroom
Following the success of Lanlivery school, governors at High Ham CoE School in conjunction with Somerset County Council commissioned ARCO2 to provide designs for a new ecologically sensitive classroom to replace the existing dilapidated Portakabin. The design, though largely based on Lanlivery, extended the concept and incorporated straw into the construction to increase insulation levels and general sustainability and efficiency. The resulting building provides a naturally lit and ventilated open plan teaching space with breakout facility to a covered play/teaching area to the south. The classroom includes WC facilities and incorporates a breakthrough section enabling easy connection to any future adjacent replacement classrooms. The careful solar sensitive design provides moderated temperatures all year round and in the school's words successfully ‘enhances the learning environment’. The building also provided an educational resource during construction being reliant on local or low embodied energy materials throughout. The building, constructed by Dorset Based DCRS and completed in 2006 provided the catalyst for the Offsite Prefabricated Strawbale system – ecofab.