Harrison Drive Nursery

Harrison Drive Nursery

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This project involved the construction of a single storey Nursery for Homerton College on Harrison Drive in Cambridge. The 650m2 building provides space for 100 children and approximately 40 staff across four large nursery rooms. Other facilities in the new nursery comprise a staff room, office, kitchen, laundry, reception, WC’s, and storage areas.

Externally, the nursery is clad in a mixture of larch cladding, with metal joinery and a zinc roof. There is full height glazing and French doors opening on to an outside play area at the back of the plot. The outside space is surfaced in rubber and bordered with an acoustic fence to minimise noise for adjacent residents.

The standout feature of this project, however, is the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). The building boasts a glulam portal frame structural solution, with CLT panels for the walls and roof. The installation of the CLT structure, by Eurban Limited, took just four weeks with four lorry deliveries bringing the materials to site. A significant amount of the CLT frame has been left exposed to provide the internal finishes to the nursery teaching and play spaces. Utilising natural materials promotes a calm atmosphere which is beneficial for the wellbeing of staff and pupils alike, ideal for a learning environment.

The building is also on track to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Aside from the CLT frame, which offers roughly 220m3 of stored Carbon, the M&E design boasts air source heat pumps serving underfloor heating and providing hot water, a natural ventilation system, electric vehicle charging points, and future provision on the roof for a photovoltaic array. The building also benefits from a north/south orientation which provides lots of natural light.

SDC commenced work in December 2020 and handed over the finished building in September 2021, ready for opening in January 2022.