Nightingale Primary School

Formerly known as Tiger Way, the multi-award-winning, BREEAM 'Outstanding' Nightingale Primary school in Hackney, London, combines a much-needed, double-capacity new school with 89 new homes. 

Exterior of a modern building with large windows

Key information


Hawkins\Brown Architects


London Borough of Hackney



Year of Completion



With an urgent need for both primary school places and new housing in the borough, the Tiger Way development was conceived to provide both, with the sale of the 89 high-quality residential units funding the new primary school and nursery. 

Facing Hackney Downs, the scheme was able to utilise high-rise towers for the residential aspect, while the combined footprint of school and housing reduced the overall external envelope and provided a degree of self-shading to reduce overheating. The challenge was to provide an excellent learning environment, maximising play spaces across levels, and balancing the needs of the residential units. 

We provided MEP engineering, sustainability strategy, Soft Landings consultancy and BREEAM advice on the scheme. With Hawkins\Brown, we set a natural ventilation and chimney strategy, and adopted a Soft Landings approach throughout to embed sustainability at every stage of the development, including post-occupancy. The school is supported by a rooftop PV array, and we also designed a site-wide Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system that serves both the school and residential development, with provision for the future connection of a district heating scheme.

A BREEAM 'Outstanding' result

Hackney Council set a target of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for the Nightingale project, including specific BREEAM-based targets that contribute to healthy and productive learning environments. Max Fordham acted as BREEAM consultants on the scheme. 

We were delighted to announce that, at final completion, the project had exceeded the 'Excellent' target, achieving instead the highest ‘Outstanding’ rating, with a score of 85.9%. This was accomplished by the client, contractor and design team focusing on creating an excellent school experience. Specific attention was given to analysis of the indoor environments, using Whole Life Carbon assessment as a design tool, and the biodiverse landscaping and green roofs being used for both education and play. 

The Soft Landings approach adopted on the Nightingale Primary School and residential scheme included two years of post-occupancy evaluation (POE). This provided regular reviews of the energy consumption and internal environmental conditions. 

Improvement strategies were decided upon by our aftercare team, which included fine tuning controls, seasonal commissioning tweaks and management and teacher education sessions. The school is passionate about ensuring that their carbon emissions and energy bills are kept as low as possible, with their energy consumption aligning with the 'low' target set during the design stage, meaning that the performance is significantly better than industry benchmarks. 

89 high-quality residential units

85.9% BREEAM Outstanding rating