sandal magna community academy

Sandal Magna Community Academy

Located in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Sandal Magna School is one of the UK’s most carbon-efficient learning centres. Accommodating 210 pupils with a 30-place nursery, the school was constructed largely from sustainably harvested timber.

The mechanical and electrical engineering has been left exposed as part of the architectural expression. The buildings serve as showcases for sustainability-in-action, where students can observe the passage of rainwater from the green roof through clear pipes, or read the course electricity takes through the school. Aside from the regular curriculum, pupils are taught the importance of energy efficiency, and they also grow some of their own produce on-site

The 1650m2, three-winged school employs passive design where possible; it has ample daylight to internal spaces and is naturally ventilated, with the exception of the ICT room. 100sqm of photovoltaic panels power a ground source heat pump connected to 12 boreholes, which provide underfloor heating, hot water and ICT room cooling. Brickwork, while architecturally striking, provides thermal mass to keep classrooms cool during the day. Low embodied-energy construction materials were preferred.


Sarah Wigglesworth Architects






Wakefield MDC

Julian Anderson Info
Functional, robust, well-lit and comfortable - all key ingredients in a successful school project.
Julian Anderson Info
Various services elements have been whimsically incorporated into the architecture to bring a sense of fun.
Julian Anderson Info
A rich palette of materials - from timber to aluminium to brick - helps create an informal but hard-wearing interior.
Julian Anderson Info
Comfortable study spaces help lead to an improved learning experience.
Julian Anderson Info
Natural daylight floods through roof windows, helping to create a sense of well-being.
Julian Anderson Info
Operable rooflights exhaust warm air from the building in the summer months.
Julian Anderson Info
The building services are expressed throughout the school.