Architype is an architecture office specialized on sustainable buildings, especially the use of natural and healthy materials for more than 20 years. They define their approach towards sustainability as”Eco-minimalism” that can be explained as”doing the basic priorities correctly”. The basic principles of this strategy includes reducing energy consumption by using technology only when it’s needed and balancing indoor temperature with the forms and materials used.

St. Luke is a school built by Architype in Wolverhampton, UK with the strategy mentioned above. St. Luke project, which gained Breeam Excellent School degree in UK, was also deemed many awards including the RIBA in 2010.”Built Quality – Education” which is given by the Burmingham City Council to constructions that stand out with its relation between construction and building control processes, and”Civic Trust Award” which is given to high-quality designs that contribute culturally, socially or economically to the region are some of its awards.

Comprehensive and integrated use of wood in the project makes up the basis of sustainable strategy. FSC-certified wood was used in carriage system,”glulam[1]” carriage structure, wooden exterior coating, cedar roof coating, high-performance woodworks, furniture and interior coatings. The wood used is fire-resistance developed according to their sizes without any need of a chemical process or covering. With the recycled news papers filled inside, the isolation of the construction was managed; I profile 300mm Steico timber panels were used for external wall, and for floor covering and roof, I profile 400mm panels were used. Isolation method of the building prevent heat loss as well as reducing the need for heating. Roof windows facing north let the heat and light inside and provided the most efficiency from sun. Linoleum, rubber flooring, recycled carpets, mats recycled from car tires, organic apparatus for the edges of woodworks and many similar sustainable materials were used in the project. Thus, an healthy, non-toxic and comfortable environment was created for the children and staff.

The manager of Architype, Jonathan Hines state that the schools with less harm to the environment will improve children’s health and performance. What was aimed in the design was not only providing sustainability during design and construction, they also wanted it to be sustainable after the school began serving. To ensure this, the followings were applied:

● Building Automation System

● Training of construction site supervisor

● Guidance leaflets placed in each room (brochures informing children and adults on how the building works, how energy consumption is minimized in each room, how the environment can be preserved best)

● Eco Driver software connected to the main Building Automation System in the school network (the software monitors energy and water consumption, gives feedbacks and sends the data to the computers of children and teachers)

Staff and students are encouraged to minimize waste. The project includes recycling equipments for papers, printer cartridges and plastics as well as KOPMOSTLAMA equipments. Construction site supervisor is trained constantly to keep the process of application and maintenance up to date.

While crop fields raised with landscaping, orchards and grassy areas improve the biodiversity of environment, trees were preserved as much as possible during the construction .

According to Architype, what’s new in this project in favor of sustainability is that the building is not dependent on renewable energy technologies (except for biomass energy), but it still achieves”excellent” environmental performance with simple and low-cost solutions. By this means, the school which has 2.911 m2 of internal space succeeded the”excellence” according to Breeam criteria with its cost of 6.05 million Euros.

Project Team
Client: Wolverhampton City Council/ St. Luke’s primary school
Architect: Architype – Jonathan Hines, Leah Dempsey, Howard Meadowcroft, Ade Scholefield, Emma Taylor, Jenny Kerrigan, Mark Barry, George Mikurcik
Project Manager, Cost Consultant: Smith Thomas Consult
CDM Coordinator: Derek Evans
Education Specialist: Effective Learning Environments
Structural Engineer: Price& Myers
BREEAM Coordinator: Price& Myers Sustainability
Service Engineer: Ernest Griffiths
Landscape Architect: Coe Design
Contractor: Thomas Vale
Acoustic consultant: Acoustic Consultants Ltd.
Specialist Contractor: New World Timber Frame
The lamination used in the larger timber elements are ‘glulam’ is called.

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