Great Western Academy, Tadpole Garden Village, Swindon wins Best Educational Building at 2019 LABC Building Excellence Awards Grand Final

Press Release
Great Western Academy, Tadpole Garden Village, Swindon

The project for the new Great Western Academy, Tadpole Garden Village, Swindon, designed by Scott Brownrigg and built by BAM Construction, was awarded the title of Best Educational Building at the Grand Final of the LABC Building Excellence Awards – one of the most recognised events on the building industry's calendar.

A panel of industry experts judged a list of the highest quality projects from around England and Wales to reward the best in technical innovation, sustainability, safety and design.

Working in a partnership comprising the local authority building control teams from Bristol City Council and Swindon Council, the designers, contractor and their client, they created a stunning new facility. Great Western Academy Free School is a Secondary School for 11-18 year old pupils located in the award winning Tadpole Farm residential development in North Swindon.

The environmental performance of the school exceeds the requirements of building regulations and local planning policy. The fabric first approach maximises energy efficiency, high levels of insulation and low air permeability together with optimum area to volume ratio. High levels of day lighting reduces energy consumption and improves the concentration of the learners. The building achieved the BREEAM Very Good standard – exceeding client expectations.

Great Western Academy, Tadpole Garden Village, Swindon front

The panel of expert judges said,

"The Great Western Academy, stood out in this category for a number of reasons. In an era of school building where budgets and form are highly constrained, this building demonstrates there is still room for design excellence and elegance. We were also very impressed with the focus on quality from the construction team and the use of technology to ensure compliance. A great project all round."

LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall said,

"Our Building Excellence awards are an opportunity for the industry to celebrate good practice and they are unique because they recognise how this cooperation improves building standards and professionalism across the industry. Our winners demonstrate how positive working relationships with public service building control teams achieve high quality, sustainable buildings."

The Grand Final of the LABC Building Excellence Awards took place on Friday 8 November 2019 at the Westminster Park Plaza in London and was hosted by multi award winning comedian Milton Jones. 840 building industry professionals including contractors, architects and engineers attended the celebration to find out which projects won across the 15 hotly contested categories.

These awards showcase buildings and design teams that tussle with complex technical or construction issues and building site constraints. They highlight innovative and creative solutions and building control professionalism that leads to safe, sustainable and high quality construction projects. Sponsors of the 2019 awards included Abbey Pynford, Actis, FMB, Home and Build, Jewson, Keystone, Keylite, LABC Acoustics, LABC Warranty, Planning Portal and Polypipe Building Services.

Further information

View a full list of winners and highly commended 

Find out what happened at the Grand Final

Start your entry for the 2020 awards!


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