Passive-design approach wins RIBA Stirling Prize

Stirling Prize

A passive-first design approach to reduce reliance on mechanical heating and cooling systems was adopted for this year’s winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize — Burntwood School in Wandsworth, London. BuroHappold Engineers collaborated with architect AHMM and contractor Lend Lease on the complete transformation of the site with its slightly tired 1950s buildings to a robust future-facing school with six striking new structures within a campus-style layout.

One of the features of the new buildings is the visually arresting faceted precast-concrete facade, giving the campus an entirely modern and memorable new look.

BuroHappold engineered the integral lightweight framework to enable heavy, large precast concrete panels to be incorporated into the construction. The design takes into account the thermal mass of the concrete, the heat generated by 2200 pupils and teachers, and the prevailing weather system.

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