Read Construction win National Net Zero Award

Read Construction, have taken home the national Constructing Excellence Net Zero award for their recently completed Vanguard Building scheme for Shropshire Council.

Having already won the coveted award for the West Midlands region earlier in the year, the project team attended the national awards last week where the scheme went up against five other award-winning projects from across the UK.

In the first year the Net Zero category has been awarded, the expert judging panel recognised the commitment of the integrated team of designers, client, school stakeholders, contractor and supply partners, and their ambition to put climate change solutions at the heart of the project.

The building represents record-breaking levels of sustainability for Shropshire Council by delivering a future proofed education facility that stands out from the crowd as a ‘first of a kind’ in achieving Net Zero operational carbon.

The development has been commended for its innovative design that makes a positive contribution to alleviate the climate change emergency. This sustainable project was carefully designed and constructed with net-zero carbon credentials and has enhanced biodiversity and habitats.

The Vanguard Building represents a key step forward in building design for the council. It has been designed to be ‘zero-carbon’ and is a demonstration of the council’s commitment to responding to the climate crisis. The building is highly efficient and has been built to achieve the internationally respected Passivhaus standard, a first for a Shropshire education facility.

Alex Read, Director at Read Construction, said:

“We are proud to have been recognised for our Net Zero achievements at Meole Brace, especially in Construction Excellence’s new award category. The Net Zero landscape has rapidly moved on over the past 12 months, and alongside delivering the operational Net Zero impacts, we are now also focused on exceeding embodied carbon reduction targets to ensure future built assets are constructed as sustainably and considerately as possible.”

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Read Construction, have won the national Constructing Excellence Net Zero award for our recently completed Vanguard Building at Meole Brace school. This is one of several awards our new build has won over past year that contribute to supporting our Climate Change strategy.

“The Meole-Brace Vanguard Building represents record-breaking levels of Sustainability for Shropshire Council delivering a future proofed education facility that stands out from the crowd as a “first of a kind” in achieving Net Zero operational carbon.

“Winning this award truly demonstrates the benefits of working in partnership and utilising the right expertise and skills of all those involve. It also inspires us to even higher expectation of sustainability in the future and provide us the opportunity to really stand out from the crowd.”

“I would like to say a huge congratulations to all involved”

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“This is fantastic news! Winning such an accolade is a testament to everyone involved.

“Our new state of the art teaching hub at Meole Brace school is one of several projects we are investing in to secure high-quality and sustainable provision of primary and secondary places in Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.

“As a beacon of sustainable excellence, we are so proud of the team who have developed the site. The fit for purpose build, will benefit children and future generations, as well as the local and wider community.

“They have truly set a benchmark for others to follow.”


Further information

The sustainable project was commissioned by Shropshire Council’s learning and skills team in response to increasing demand for secondary school places in Shrewsbury.  PSG carried out initial feasibility work, proceeded to establish the design for the building and set out the high environmental standards.  The contract was tendered on a Design and Build basis and awarded to Wrexham-based contractor Read Construction Ltd.

Contractor’s design team: -

  • Architects: TACP Architects
  • Passivhaus Consultant: HLM Architects
  • M&E Consultant: Davies Partnership
  • Structural Engineers: JP Structural Design

The project was carefully designed and constructed with Net Zero credentials and evidences quantifiable biodiversity, community and local gains through minimising both capital and in use Waste and Carbon.

Maintenance and energy efficiencies will continue beyond typical 40-60 year whole life assessment, with masonry superstructure extending this to beyond 120 years.

Shropshire Council’s Climate Change Strategy

Shropshire Council’s Climate Strategy sets out bold targets:

• Be a Net Zero Authority by 2030

• Adapt service delivery to address the impacts of extreme weather events

• Deliver on corporate responsibilities to the environment and local communities

• Lead by example