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Two awards for sustainable school as Merkinch Primary School and Family Centre in Inverness wins at Learning Places Scotland Awards dinner


By Ian Duncan

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Merkinch Primary School.
Merkinch Primary School.

Merkinch Primary School and Family Centre in Inverness has won at the Learning Places Scotland Awards dinner where it took away two awards.

The school took home the Innovation in Delivering a Sustainable Learning Space and Innovation in Delivering Value categories.

Scotland's education minister John Swinney and Robertson Construction operations manager Finlay Black tour Merkinch Primary School.
Scotland's education minister John Swinney and Robertson Construction operations manager Finlay Black tour Merkinch Primary School.

Merkinch is the first school in the Highlands, and largest school in Scotland, to be built using a cross-laminated timber frame (CLT), which is more sustainable than traditional construction methods.

The decision to use a hybrid glulam and CLT frame rather than the original steel frame was made following consultation with Highland Council and resulted in a 60 per cent reduction of whole-life carbon in the project.

Appointed by Robertson Construction Northern, NORR designed this large extension to the existing Merkinch Primary School, which was originally built in 1876, to future-proof the building for generations of students.

Inside Merkinch Primary School.
Inside Merkinch Primary School.

Bruce Wright, project associate at NORR, said: “We are proud to see Merkinch Primary School and Family Centre win two awards.

"Creating this large contemporary extension that complements the original Category B listed Victorian school came with its challenges, but that made it even more rewarding to see the reaction of the pupils when they entered the building for the first time.

“It has been a privilege to work with Highland Council and Robertson to create a school, using sustainable methods of construction, that will support future generations within the community.”

• The full list of winners is available here.


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