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John Taylor Free School

One of the first schools to be designed and constructed to meet and exceed the Department for Education’s (DfE) net zero carbon and sustainability standard.
Computer generated image of the red bricked main entrance of the school with a dark metallic sign surrounded by trees and bushes

Services (8)


Rugeley, United Kingdom




Department for Education (DfE)


Glancy Nicholls Architects

John Taylor Free School is a low carbon school built on the site of a former power station and sitting at the heart of a new sustainable community re-development. The school will accommodate over 1,400 pupils, a nursery, and sports facilities including a community 3G pitch with floodlighting.

The project has been designed to the DfE’s sustainability design guide, which outlines how schools should be designed to align with the UK’s zero carbon trajectory. This requires designs to achieve stringent energy in-use targets, combined with maximising renewable energy generation on-site.

Peter Hazzard, Associate Director, commented, "The design utilises an innovative heat recovery system of very low temperature heating pipework embedded in the concrete slab (TABS). By linking this to an air-source and heat scavenging heat pump system the overall energy input required for heating and hot water production is reduced to very low levels."

Key fact

Photovoltaics maximise renewable energy generation and result in a net zero carbon in operation (NZCiO) building.


Key fact

Excess energy is stored in a series of batteries to be used during periods of high demand.


Peter Hazzard in beige suit and acoustics feature background

Peter Hazzard

Associate Director, Building Services

View bio

The site contained numerous challenges, including the buried concrete bases for the old cooling towers and a substantial buried services corridor.