Originally built as sustainable school in 2007, the building was then converted in 2009 into a community and multiple user approach to providing healthcare in the future. It is now a training facility for the schools engagement programme funded by the BRE Trust.


The Willmott Dixon building was originally constructed as a sustainable school in 2007, with the aim to provide inspiring, flexible and practical space to learn. It was constructed using a laminated solid timber building system.

In 2009 it was converted to a healthcare campus with the aim of demonstrating the importance of retrofit in improving sustainability and energy efficiency of health centres and the objective of helping the NHS to reduce operational costs with a  goal to provide an evolving showcase of the latest innovations in construction and healthcare. The versatility of the building, and the adaptability  of the space within the large spans provided by the construction type has allowed a third incarnation as a training facility.


Materials & Technologies

  • Low energy, natural ventilation e-stack system by Breathing Buildings.
  • Automatically controlled windows and rooflights – internal CO2 and temperature levels are monitored and controlled by automatic adjustments of openings.
  • Rainwater collected for flushing WCs.
  • Designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating
  • Step powered kinetic energy harvesting system developed by The Facility – harvests kinetic energy from footfall to power other building systems.
  • Innovative solar wall by Corus which preheats ventilation air
  • Sedum green roof
  • Transparent photovoltaic glazing generate around 3000kwh of electricity.
  • Improved ventilation – a passively-ventilated consulting room with electronically operated windows and mechanical ventilation is provided to two treatment rooms via fabric ducts. Some of the fresh air is taken from the solar wall on the exterior of the building, which uses the sun’s warmth to preheat the incoming air.
  • Hygienic systems – anti-microbial materials reduce contamination risks.
  • Healthy spaces – a modular pod bedroom mimics natural light changes throughout the day to support the human circadian rhythm.
  • Assisting independent living – a digital system allows personalised messages to be sent to individual TV sets, overlaying commercial channels, an important contribution to assisted living.




Airtightness testing and U-value testing

Air Tightness Result
1.8 m3/(h.m2) at 50Pa
element value. U value W/m2K
Walls 0.25
Glazing 1.8
roof 0.18
floor 0.20
  • CLT construction, beams and walls
  • Double glazed argon windows, some with security vents
  • Heating; air source heat pump
  • Ventilation Predominantly natural with some MVHR
  • PV and Solar thermal
  • Rainwater harvesting



Lead Developer: Willmott Dixon