DB3 Education Schools

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DB3 Education Schools Project Experience

About DB3

Founded in 1883, DB3 Group is an award-winning, dynamic practice consisting of DB3 Architecture & Design, DB3 Building Services Engineering, DB3 Net Zero, DB3 Professional Services, Formation 3D and Home & Maker.

DB3 Group has seven studios across the UK including in Leeds, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Aberystwyth, so we are never too far away from your project. Renowned for our quality design and technical delivery, we have long standing relationships with some of the biggest global brands across private and public market sectors.

From architectural vision to the completed build, we provide multi-disciplinary expertise aimed at meeting the diverse needs of our client base. We embrace the latest technology, including Building

Information Modelling (BIM), to assist in our process and operations for design, visualisation, design team co-ordination and more.

We maintain a focus on not only delivering the project on time, with exceptional quality and within cost, but also in ensuring long term value is designed into facilities to ensure that they are easy and safe to operate, sustainable, minimise energy use and are cost effective to maintain.

Our dedicated team of experienced Architects, Project Managers, Building Services Engineers, Interior Designers and Surveyors provide a quality service regardless of project value, size or complexity, to deliver the best for our clients. Working collaboratively, we aspire to make this an enjoyable process and build relationships which result in us returning to work for the same clients on future projects.

Glasgow Leeds
Birmingham London Aberystwyth Cardiff DB3 EducationSchools SECTORS ƒ Commercial ƒ Conservation & Heritage ƒ Education ƒ Energy & Waste ƒ Healthcare ƒ Hospitality ƒ Industrial & Manufacturing ƒ Retail ƒ Residential ƒ Science & Labs ƒ Sports & Leisure EXPERTISE ƒ Architecture ƒ Passivhaus Design ƒ Urban Design ƒ Visualisation ƒ Principal Designer ƒ NEC Supervisor ƒ Building Services Engineering

Creating Inspiring Spaces for Learners

Our DB3 Education Architects team have been providing advice on education design for over 25 years and are fully experienced across the range of Learning/Education building types.

From Early Year’s provision, through Primary, Secondary, SEND, Further and Higher education, DB3 has designed and implemented schemes that seek to raise educational standards.

Vast experience having worked for over 30 Local Authority clients

Advocates for sustainable design and experienced in SEND designs

DB3 services include Architecture and Design, Interior Design, Principal Designer, NEC3 Supervisor, in-house M&E design service.

Having worked on children’s nurseries and numerous school projects as well as Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) designs our team are well versed in designing the best concepts that match your requirements. Some of our architectural work for nurseries, primary and secondary schools include:

New school building design


Complex technology spaces

Community areas

Outdoor learning facilities such as nature trail, amphitheatre, greenhouse

SEND facilities such as hydrotherapy, therapy rooms and separate respite block

Always striving for innovation in educational architecture design, we received numerous awards for designing the UK’s first school featuring a digital media multi-sensory theatre plus we aim to integrate eco-friendly features wherever possible.

We are experienced across the full range of procurement options including BSF, Academies Framework, PPP and Design and Build and have provided advice on the applicability of DfE Building Bulletins and SSLD. We are appointed to a number of local and national framework agreements throughout the UK.

DB3 Education -Schools

Ysgol Craig y Deryn

Location: Gwynedd, Wales

Expertise Area: Architecture

Ysgol Craig y Deryn, Bro Dysynni was procured under the Welsh Government 21st Century Schools Programme and brought together four existing village primary schools on to a new site in the National Park on the western edge of Llanegryn, near Tywyn, Gwynedd.

The school is designed to accommodate 110 students with ages ranging from 3 to 11 years old. The challenge was to develop a new area primary school, and to create a transformed and inspiring learning environment appropriate for new methods of teaching and learning using new

technologies within an environment designed to support initiatives to improve general educational standards.

A considerable amount of time was spent in engagement in consultation with the offices of Snowdonia National Park Authority, the Highways Department, the Police Architectural Liaison Officer, the “Safer Routes to School” Officers and Access Officers, to develop a clear vision for the general requirements and against the impressive site context.

DB3 Education -Schools


Porth & Tonypandy Schools

Location: Porth & Tonypandy, Wales

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 provided services for two new middle schools (ages 3 to 16 years) in Porth and Tonypandy for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. We assembled and lead a multi-disciplinary team of local consultants.

Each project involved the partial demolition/ refurbishment of an existing secondary school to provide the upper school accommodation (11 to 16 years), together with the provision of an entirely new-build lower school (3 to 11 years). Porth is designed to accommodate a total of 1,140 pupils (330 lower and 810 in upper school).

Tonypandy is designed to accommodate a total of 1,260 pupils (480 lower and 780 in upper school).

In keeping with the context of South Wales Valleys, both sites feature a challenging topography which largely set the parameters for the early master planning option study. Ultimately, each newbuild primary school would adopt narrow linear forms of two storey classroom accommodation that followed the contours and ridges of their immediate setting.

DB3 Education -Schools


Goldthorpe Primary School

Location: Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 acted as Architect on behalf of Robertson Construction to deliver this new steel framed primary school on a brownfield site close to the existing school that was part of the overall Goldthorpe masterplan.

The School provides an important gateway for the town and delivers increased footfall to the retail centre.

The existing primary school was significantly

lacking adequate facilities for today’s curriculum requirements and the capacity for the future increase in pupil numbers.

The new school accommodates 310 pupils and provides modern learning facilities and spacious outdoor play/sports areas. Classrooms within the school can be opened up to allow easy flow to outdoor lessons and activities.

St Peter’s Primary School

Location: Tadworth, Surrey

Completion date: 2020

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 designed this exemplar single form entry primary school on a rural site for South Gloucestershire Council.

The new school includes a number of community spaces and has imaginative external areas, developed with the staff and pupils to include vegetable plots, a turf amphitheatre, a wetland and pond area with viewing deck, a nature trail, raised planting beds, a greenhouse, den making and forest skills areas, and a two person slide to get from the raised deck area down to the playground.

The building also has an array of eco-friendly features including a biomass boiler, a sedum roof, timber frame, high levels of insulation, daylight

and was environmentally modelled to make the best use of passive solar gains whilst avoiding glare.

Pupils, staff and parents had been shown around in the weeks before the handover and couldn’t wait to get into the new school and use it for the first time.

“There was an air of excitement as the children arrived for school.”
Keith Tinline-Purvis, Headteacher
DB3 Education -Schools


Threeways SEN School

Location: Bath, Somerset

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 acted as Architect to deliver this £11m new steel framed primary school that brought together three existing special schools onto one site on the northern edge of Bath.

The completed building has collected several awards and was the first in the UK to feature a digital media multi-sensory theatre.

The school accommodates 310 pupils and classrooms can be opened up to allow easy flow to outdoor lessons and activities.

The building provides modern learning facilities and spacious outdoor play / sports areas. The acoustic performance and naturally lit and ventilated environment has had a positive impact on the behaviour and concentration of pupils.


Hafod Lon SEN School

Location: Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 acted as Architect for the project, which was constructed under a traditional contract and is located on the Parc Eryri Business Park.

The buildings are constructed to BREEAM “Excellent” and to an EPC “A” rating.

The complex includes a SEN school for pupils aged 3-19 with hydrotherapy facilities, therapy rooms and a separate respite accommodation block.

The school is designed on a split level with primary school pupils and secondary aged pupils accommodated on separate floors.

The Hafod Lon Special School for Gwynedd Council at Penrhyndeudraeth, was formally opened by Welsh Government Minister, Alun Davies.

DB3 Education -Schools

Corsham Primary School

Location: Corsham, Wiltshire

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 was appointed by Wiltshire Council in the summer of 2017 to develop a feasibility study to extend the current school from the current 1 FE of 210 pupils to 1.5 FE of 315 pupils, then to 2.0 FE with a capacity of 420 pupils.

The approach taken was to ensure options exist for getting as much natural light into the corridor and classrooms. This was done by utilising northlight and adopting a building section that also allows a natural cross flow of ventilation; all of which is controlled by manual means. In our

studies we have anticipated a series of popup’s through a flat roof, each pop-up defines the teaching area within the classroom with its primary use of providing north-light and ventilation. This to achieve our end goal of “light and air”.

Creating blocks of class spaces, and when viewed in context with the tree scape - in particular if viewed from afar i.e. from the road - breaks the mass down into usable chunks.



Sir Charles Parsons

Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear

Expertise Areas: Architecture

Sir Charles Parsons Science College is one of three schools that DB3 has designed as part of the Newcastle Building Schools for the Future programme.

It is first and foremost a school, and its role is to provide a broad, stimulating and demanding learning experience for the students that stretches them and supports them in reaching their potential.

The objectives of the design were to create adaptable space that was able to respond flexibly to meet the needs of all students and support the provision of personalised learning, logical in design and have a ‘heart’ that unifies the school,

to showcase student achievements, celebrate success, be a meeting place, a place to sit and talk and move on to somewhere else.

The specialist needs of students whether PMLD or SLD should be provided adjacent or within the learning areas wherever possible. Therapy is seen as an integral part of the curriculum and learning environment.

The school was rated as BREEAM Excellent. This was a significant challenge as the pupils all arrived in taxis so transport points were not possible to attain. This was offset by use of a biomas boiler adjacent to the building.

DB3 Education -Schools


Archway School

Location: Stroud, Gloucestershire

Expertise Area: Architecture

DB3 was commissioned to carry out a number of feasibility studies to advise the school on the most appropriate way to spend a sum of money allocated to it by the County Council.

Archway School was constructed over four years and in three phases. During this period the school had to remain operational.

Phase 1 involved enabling works which provided new car parking to the entrance and re-surfacing existing sports hard play areas.

Phase 2 saw the construction of the dedicated technology block. This was innovatively designed with a biomass boiler and all of the classrooms naturally ventilating into a double height atrium.

Phase 3 completed the remodelling by providing an entrance block containing, admin support, SEN and music facilities.

Ysgol Berwyn Bala

Location: Bala, Wales

Expertise Areas: Architecture

DB3 acted as Architect for this project to develop a new all-through school (3-18 years) at Bala, on behalf of Gwynedd Council, as part of the Welsh Government 21st Century Schools Modernisation Programme.

The project required the building of a new nursery and primary school facilities for 210 pupils to replace two existing education sites within Bala town. The school provides 210 Foundation and Key Stages 1 and 2 places and 360 Key Stages 3 to 5.

DB3 Education -Schools


Avon Valley College

Location: Durrington, UK

Expertise Area: Architecture

Avon Valley College is a secondary school which mainly serves the children of army personnel on Salisbury Plain. Wiltshire Council appointed DB3 to prepare a masterplan for the phased replacement of all the school’s existing buildings to suit an increased population.

We identified the need by analysing the projected pupil numbers to create a schedule of accommodation for various projections into the future. We then master planned the site to analyse how best to expand and re configure the site to address this expanding need for accommodation over time. This exercise allowed for the progressive replacement of facilities, with

selective demolition, based on our on site analysis of building condition and suitability.

Designed in Revit to BIM level 2 the first phase block includes spaces for music, drama, IT and other teaching spaces in a rational and compact form.

Roof lights allow natural light into the depth of the plan and into the top storey classrooms, they provide a dual purpose and combine with the natural ventilation system to allow for very low energy usage. Passive supervision was a key element in the design; this combined with antibullying approaches to WC design help to give the building a friendly feel.

DB3 Education -Schools

Architecture and much more

As a multi-disciplinary consultancy, our expertise extends beyond architecture, meaning our clients can pick and choose key areas or combine a number of our service skill sets and project management skills when selecting our single point service offer. DB3 Group offers the following six individual business units.

DB3 Architecture & Design

Providing RIBA Chartered sustainable architecture, urban design and masterplanning, with supporting services including BIM, visualisation and interior design. DB3’s architectural team comprises 35+ architects, supported by a strong team of 50+ technologists and architectural assistants with the capacity to resource projects across all sectors.

DB3 Building Services Engineering Offering CIBSE Chartered Mechanical and Electrical Engineering to all sectors. The team have particular experience in the leisure sector, having delivered numerous wet and dry leisure facilities across the UK. The team are CIBSE Low Carbon Energy Assessors and offer Thermal Modelling (DSM).

Formation 3D (F3D)

Drone operated aerial surveys, photography and videography by DB3’s in-house CAA qualified drone operators. A low risk, time efficient alternative for building inspections and land surveys. F3D also offers highly accurate 3D data capture & mapping of existing structures using point cloud, RTK and PPK technology, turning into 3D digital models for construction, design and facilities management projects.

DB3 Net Zero

Drawing on the experience of our in-house mechanical & electrical engineers, architects, energy assessors, Passivhaus designers and sustainability experts. Our suite of Net Zero consultancy services is broken down into six categories which cover topics around whole life cycle. These categories include; Carbon, Efficiency, Passivhaus, Wellbeing, Performance & Compliance.

DB3 Professional Services

The team deliver building surveying, retail project management, principal designer, contract administration and NEC supervisor roles, across the UK. Working alongside DB3’s architectural and M&E teams, these roles can be incorporated into a multi-disciplinary offering or procured as an independent service.

Home & Maker

A sister company to DB3 Architecture & Design, Home and Maker provides RIBA chartered online architectural services to domestic residential customers. Drawing on DB3’s many years of home design and construction experience, Home & Maker focuses on designing great homes at an affordable price.

About DB3
Accreditations AJ100 Company RIBA Chartered Practice Certified Passivhaus Designers CIAT Registered Practice CIBSE Directory of Practices & Firms CIBSE Low Carbon Energy Assessors ISO9001:2015 Quality Management System ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System Altius Approved Elite Vendor H&S SSIP Accredited, through Eurosafe and Alcumus Constructionline Gold Member Achilles RISQS Accredited Cyber Essentials Plus


DB3 Group: Winner – City of Manchester & City of Birmingham Business Awards 2022 ‘Architect of the Year’; 2021 Digital Enterprise Top 100; Winner – Insider Property Industry Awards 2018 ‘Architectural Practice of the Year’ & ‘Design Excellence’; Shortlisted – BD Awards 2017 ‘Sports & Leisure Architect of the Year’; RICS Design Through Innovation Award 2017; Insider Property Industry Awards 2015 ‘Highly Commended Architectural Firm of the Year’

Llys Cadwyn Regeneration: Winner – Cardiff Property Awards 2021 and Ystadau Cymru 2021 Award for ‘Creating Economic Growth’; Highly Commended – British Construction Industry Awards 2021; CLAW Project of the Year Awards 2021

Adidas Oxford Street: Gold Winner – London Design Awards 2020

Leeds College of Music: Winner – RIBA Regional Award 2015 ‘Small Project Award’; Shortlisted –Insider Property Industry Awards Yorkshire 2018 ‘Regeneration Project of the Year’, Education Estates Awards 2018 ‘Refurbishment Project’, AJ Retrofit Awards 2018 ‘Further & Higher Education’; Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2018 ‘Building Project of the Year’

Chancery Lane Residential: Shortlisted – London Construction Awards 2018 ‘London Build Excellence’ & ‘Regeneration Project’

Airedale Air Conditioning: Winner – RICS 2017 Regional Award ‘Design through innovation’

Ysgol Craig Y Deryn School: RTPI Wales Planning Award 2014

Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre: Commended – SCALA Awards 2014 ‘Civic Building of the Year’

Michael Woods Leisure Centre: Highly Commended – SCALA Awards 2014 ‘Civic Building of the Year’; Scottish Property Awards 2014 ‘Architectural Excellence’

MOMA Machynlleth Tannery Gallery: CPRW Awards 2014 ‘Special Award’

Marks & Spencer, Liverpool: Highly Commended –CIAT Award 2010 ‘Technical Excellence’

PAN Emirates, Dubai: Shortlisted – Retail Interiors Awards 2010 ‘Best International Interior’

Threeways School, Bath: BCSE Awards 2009 ‘Inspiring Design for Special Schools’

ASDA Stores Supplier Awards: 2009 ‘Best Consultant’ & ‘Best EDLC (Every Day Low Cost) Initiative’

University of Huddersfield, Creative Art Building: Bronze Awards – RIBA White Rose Award 2009; Commendation – CIAT Award 2009; Shortlisted –RICS Pro Yorkshire Awards 2009

University of Huddersfield, Milton Centre: Winner – Insider Yorkshire Renaissance Awards 2006 ‘Best Restoration Project’

Aberdovey Yacht Club: Winner – Snowdonia National Park Awards 1992 ‘Good Design in the Countryside Award’

St Giles Business Park for the DBRW: Winner – Prince of Wales Design Awards 1990 ‘Good Design Awards’

Llwydcoed Crematorium: Commendation – RIBA Awards 1968


Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS): 2017, 2011, 2010

Green Apple Awards: 2015, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2008, LABC Building Excellence Awards: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

LABC Design Excellence Awards: 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2003, 2002

Leicestershire & Rutland Craftsmanship Awards: 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2003, 2002

Civic Trust Awards: 2012, 2007, 2006, 1993, 1990 BREEAM Awards: 2008, 2007

Montgomeryshire Design Awards: 1997, 1994

0113 244 6931 contact@db3group.com www.dbgroup.com London Leeds Birmingham Manchester Cardiff Glasgow Aberystwyth
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