Haberdashers Aske School for Boys provides education for ages 4 up to 18 at its site in Hertfordshire. Originally dating from the 17th Century, the school has evolved over time, now occupying a large parkland campus. The successful pre-prep school was formerly located off site, and this project was conceived to provide a dedicated new home for it within the central campus. The historic setting of the site and proximity to open countryside and an airfield meant Planning was especially challenging to secure.

The project was for the design and construction of a single story pre-prep school, comprising of classrooms, an assembly hall and external landscaping. The School’s aspiration was the development of a very low energy building providing a high level of occupant comfort with the use of sustainable materials.

A fabric first approach was adopted to optimise daylighting whilst controlling solar gain. This included installing high levels of insulation and stipulating an airtight construction, to reduce heat loss through external fabric whilst optimising a ventilation strategy providing greater indoor air quality with heat recovery. The principal structure was formed in a CLT construction, requiring a high degree of services coordination to pre-form builders-work holes for off-site manufacturing. External lighting and services were carefully planned to comply with Planning conditions. A large new car park equipped with Electric Vehicle chargers was built at the north of the site.

The resulting project delivers a bright and welcoming space, transforming the pre-prep offering for the school in its new home.

Photography by Andy Stagg

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