KP Leicester Schools
Knowledge Partnership with Leicester City Council
The Knowledge Partnership was a collaborative project between De Montfort University and Leicester City Council (2009-2016) that aimed to embed knowledge of low carbon building design through the design, construction, refurbishment and operation of schools under the Children’s Capital Projects at Leicester City Council. This resulted in Leicester City becoming one of the first Local Authorities to set out a dedicated carbon reduction and sustainability contract for its schools’ building programme.
The partnership team worked with 17 of the 22 Leicester Building Schools for the Future schools to drive innovation, to embed research knowledge and to promote collaboration and growth. Even with some highly unfavourable conditions, the Knowledge Partnership has ensured that ‘in-use’ building performance of the supported schools matches (and in certain cases even exceeds) their sustainability design expectations. Even though they are 11% larger in floor area, the new schools built under the Knowledge Partnership have delivered a 30% reduction in energy consumption over their first full year of operation.
The partnership achieved this by leading on the design, delivery and operational support relating to energy management and carbon reduction in these schools and by engaging with politicians, design and construction teams and staff and students in the schools. The Knowledge Partnership team ensured that buildings were designed to high energy efficiency standards and that schools are equipped to manage their new buildings efficiently into the future. This was accomplished by creating tools, guidance manuals and resources that have empowered users to become intelligent clients and building users. Remarkably, this has been delivered through a single Associate based at the City Council, working in collaboration with staff from Leicester City Council and De Montfort University’s Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development.