Straw, earth, wood, stone and sedum will be the building blocks for school

Castle Hill School extension design - artist's impressions
Castle Hill School extension design - artist's impressions

Straw, earth, wood, stone and sedum – these will be the main building products used to create Castle Hill School’s new eco–classroom.

For those who may not no, sedum is a hardy garden plant often used in “green” roof designs and forms part of the design drawn up for the Halifax Road, Todmorden, school which has applied to Calderdale Council planners to make the changes.

It submitted plans for an extension to form a classrooom and veranda at the school, having identified a need for extra classroom space to use on a daily basis (the school roll stands at 294) along with permanent cooking facilities to replace the school’s current mobile cooking arrangement.

Extra space is also required for the “Before and After” School Club and the extension could also house a new school library zone. It could also be used by local groups, says the application.

Todmorden-based Greenstone Design, who have helped the school draw up the project, say they have come up with a simple and innovative building with a focus on the materials used and maximising the learning opportunities for the children and the local community.

Michelle Gaffaney, director of Greenstone Design said: “We are really pleased to be involved in this local project.

“Many school buildings need considerable refurbishment or extra space for growing numbers of pupils.

“Castle Hill has already turned unusable space into learning platforms by creating a forest school and growing beds in the playground. 

“This building will provide much needed creative space for pupils to develop their ideas and also will host after school clubs.

“We strongly believe that the environment around us directly effects children’s attitudes and their ability to learn and explore ideas. It is because of this that we want to create beautiful, inspiring learning spaces for local school children and teachers.”

Greenstone Design will provide a full design and build service to the school handing over a finished school building ready to move the furniture in and to make it their own.

But children and local people will have the opportunity to learn the construction techniques building of cob and straw bales by coming on training courses.

The materials have been chosen to create a super insulated, acoustically sound and healthy building.

No toxic materials will be used in the building fabric and every care will be made to keep the local building products source as local to Todmorden as possible.

The building will be clad to the rear and side with Larch boards.

This will be harvested by local company Black Bark cut from the woods at Hardcastle Crags, she said.

Pictures and updates about the building will be posted up in the Greenstone Design window on Rochdale Road and also on its website:

Any representations on the application should be made to Calderdale Council by April 25.