Langley Academy

Buro Happold
  • Langley Academy curve
  • Langley Academy inside
  • Langley Academy lecture theatre
  • Langley Academy outside
  • Langley Academy side

1 / Introduction

Sustainability is at the heart of the Langley Academy, an 1,150 pupil school near Slough that caters for students aged from 11 to 18. The academy embodies the passion and commitment that Buro Happold have for sustainable technologies, as well as providing an excellent learning resource for students.


Key facts

  • New school built as part of the Academies programme
  • Sustainable features supports science specialism
  • 20% water consumption and 150 tonnes of CO2 saved per year
  • Interactive building systems contribute to pupil’s education

Related Disciplines

The Project Details

  • Client:
    DfES/The Langley Academy Trust
  • Architect:
    Foster + Partners
  • Date Completed:
    2008
  • Buro Happold services:
    Structural engineering, infrastructure, ground engineering, sustainability, building services engineering, computational simulation and analysis, fire engineering, specialist consulting, CDM coordinator
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2 / Challenge

Our brief for the design of Langley Academy was to make it as sustainable as possible, while aspiring to instil this philosophy into the mindset of the stakeholders and wider community. The building also had to incorporate the Academy Trust’s vision for ‘Gallery Learning’ – open, transparent spaces that encourage interaction between the students, teachers and their studies.

3 / Solution

Working closely with Foster + Partners, our design team combined a number of sustainable features, including rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps and a biomass boiler run on locally sourced woodchips, to achieve the client’s aspirations. These solutions have led to the site achieving 30% onsite renewable energy generation, while also saving 20% in water consumption and 150 tonnes of CO2 a year –at the time of completion, these were the lowest emissions of any school in the Academy programme.

The ‘gallery’ is created by the full height atrium that sits at the heart of the three-storey building, which forms a meeting space for 1100 students. Monitors showing how the building systems are performing form features on the walls, allowing pupils to ‘see’ how the energy is being used.

4 / Value

At the Langley Academy the sustainable features educate the students: our team made sustainability a highly visual and immediate feature of the surroundings, and an invaluable learning resource. But it is not only the pupils of the school who stand to benefit – the building is used extensively out of hours by people from all across the region therefore helping to drive the sustainability message to the very heart of the community. The result is an environment that has swathes of natural light and plenty to occupy enquiring minds.