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‘Visionary’ £7m eco-school to be demolished because of leaky roof

August 4, 2016

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/03/visionary-7m-eco-school-to-be-demolished-because-of-leaky-roof/

Not so visionary then!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2016 10:00 am

    Eco-visionaries and leaky roofs – there’s a joke in there somewhere.

    • John Palmer permalink
      August 4, 2016 10:09 am

      I think that the whole thing was a joke!

  2. AlecM permalink
    August 4, 2016 10:08 am

    Visionary = holes in the roof you can see through?

  3. August 4, 2016 10:22 am

    The local paper has more info
    “Subsequently it was accepted that the vacated buildings were beyond economic repair.”
    – Previously the BBC 2014 said “The council said it expected repairs to be finished by spring 2016”
    developers photo

    The rest of media deem the story not worth reporting.

  4. martinbrumby permalink
    August 4, 2016 10:33 am

    So, what has been the “Carbon Footprint” of this little escapade?

    Will anyone be held to account?

    Thought not…..

    • August 4, 2016 3:55 pm

      You mean like a proper “cost benefit analysis” ..and proper audit
      ..it seems they are banned for green projects..you have to have “faith”.

  5. August 4, 2016 10:41 am

    Living in Devon, I have been following this story for years. I wonder if anybody will be held to account for this monumental cock-up? Of course not – it will be demolished and forgotten. I wonder if the sustainability award in the Devon Building Control Partnership Quality and Sustainability Awards 2010 will be cancelled. Devon is not noted for being a dry county, particularly in winter and so leaks and rot are bound to happen unless you have a really good design and competent builders. My house is timber-framed and touch wood (no pun intended) is fine.

    This should be made into a case study and all school pupils should be taught about the idiocy of green crap and bureaucrats wasting tax-payers money on propaganda and vanity projects.

    Somebody should be held to account for this fiasco – but as I’ve been told on many occasions by employees of councils, nobody ever is.

  6. August 4, 2016 10:48 am

    It was reported by the local (Devon) BBC back in 2014 that the £7m was being claimed back from architects White Design and main contractors Interserve.
    “Ordering the school had been a “bold decision” by the county council”. For bold read stupid.
    “How much will remain of the school’s green credentials is unclear.” I suggest none, as is the case with most green (ie scam) projects.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-29012084

  7. Joe Public permalink
    August 4, 2016 10:58 am

    Typical scaremongering by the Torygraph.

    The PC headline should read: ” ‘Visionary’ £7m eco-school to be recycled because of leaky roof”

    • August 4, 2016 2:37 pm

      No doubt the real PC answer would include *…………leaky roof caused by record rainfall as predicted by climate models”

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 4, 2016 4:37 pm

        Surely *…………leaky roof caused by record rainfall due to climate change”?

  8. August 4, 2016 11:16 am

    I would laugh were it not for the fact that it’s taxpayers money that was wasted. So who was responsible? Has the architect been imprisoned? the builders? I can’t really blame the councillors because I don’t think stupidity or gullibility is a crime.

  9. August 4, 2016 11:22 am

    The Isle of Wight Council made a similar mistake in its desperation for “green” credentials. hey commissioned a Scandinavian firm who had no experience to build Cowes Enterprise College – carbon neutral, water harvesting, living roof etc etc.
    The roof leaked. They had to put air conditioning units on the roof because the system never worked. The firm went bankrupt and it cost millions to rectify. To add insult to injury the Council made a payment of £500,000 in error after the firm went bankrupt. They then spent condiserable time and money trying to get it back. I think they recovered just over £100,000.
    The same Council gave £1 million to an entrepreneur whose main claim to fame was opening and shutting 40 odd companies he’d bought “off the shelf”. He is going to build a tidal energy centre believe it or not. He and his merrry men know nothing about renewable energy and have not put a penny of their own money towards it. The Council had tried unsuccessfully to interest investors for years. Then a pair of locals just happened to “express an interest” a la Dominic Chapell. Siemans pulled out of tidal energy after having successfully trialed a turbine in Strangford Loch. Another tidal firm went into administration. Our Council is being run by a the most inept bunch you could imagine.

  10. August 4, 2016 11:31 am

    Demolish quick otherwise it will become a monument to GreenDream Failure

    ..Good thinking by @Brownedoff ..I quote
    >>>It is likely that the leaking roof is the only visible evidence of a massive green cock-up.

    It will be the cost of fixing the undisclosed green problems that makes the school a write-off.

    If it is left standing, it become a permanent monument to the incompetence of the gullible politicians – a no-no solution.

    If it is demolished, then the potential for being held to account for incompetence is soon forgotten – an excellent solution.

    Therefore, demolish immediately and put a new school on-site asap.

    Incidentally, a new green cock-up in waiting is emerging:

    “Each smart brick is an electrical analogous computer. A building made of such bricks will be a massive-parallel computing processor.”<<<

  11. August 4, 2016 12:07 pm

    Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is to repeat something in an identical way and expect a different result. That and the Law of Unintended Consequences seems to bedevil anything “Green”. The building of this school’s primary purpose will have been to make it green, normal people would have a building that was fit for purpose. How much CO2 (their concern, not mine) was released in the building and demolition of this school, the temporary accommodation for the pupils (presumable leaking heat like a sieve) and the building of the new school? How much money was wasted by demolishing one building and constructing a second (our concern, not theirs)? In this same week we have heard that wind turbine energy generation cannot offset the CO2 produced during their manufacture and installation and, thanks to the Law of Unintended Consequences, they are decimating bird populations.
    Those who think that “Green” will save the environment are clearly delusional and should be treated as such, preferably where they can do no harm, strait-jackets may be the answer!

  12. August 4, 2016 12:19 pm

    Once again, I am reminded of a BBC program, “Restoration Home”, which I have watched on my laptop and dubbed “This Old Rubble” (a takeoff on the PBS “This Old House” series). I could not believe the condition of some of the places and the degree of demolition which occurred in the “restoration”. AND these folks want to demolish a new school when you have buildings going back to the 1300’s with NO roofs successfully restored and inhabited? What was the school made of? Cardboard and spit?

  13. August 4, 2016 1:00 pm

    It may be relevant that Dartington is next door to Totnes, which is notorious for being a Transition Town and thus has more than its fare share of eco-nuts.

  14. golf charlie permalink
    August 4, 2016 2:00 pm

    Phillip Bratby and others, the building can be demolished, deserves to be demolished, and will be demolished.

    Council records of who decided and approved what, cannot legally be lost or destroyed, don’t deserve to be lost and destroyed, and should be accessed and publicised just in case they are accidently recycled in a manner advantageous to the Green stained guilty parties.

    There really ought to be a method by which people could be excluded from holding any future positions with any control or influence over tax/rate payer money.

    • Joe Public permalink
      August 4, 2016 8:09 pm

      I suspect willingly gullible councillors / council employees were seduced by the eco-promises of the architects.

      Meanwhile, popcorn time for spectators of the ‘Pass the Parcel’ game between architects White Design and main contractors Interserve.

      No doubt both will attempt to muddy the waters of responsibility by claiming the council insisted upon ‘design changes’.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        August 7, 2016 1:26 am

        Brown envelopes…

  15. August 4, 2016 4:01 pm

    Parallel : projects that tick the “ProgLeft” box are likely to get approved.
    ..Like the Bradford Kings Science Academy seemingly all Muslim managed ..3 founders are just facing jail for fraud

  16. August 5, 2016 8:46 am

    @Pcar points out that instead of using guttering to ground tank system then pumps, the project used the roof as a membrane system in an attempt to cut out pumping, but leaks could be anywhere.

    We put the water through a filter on the roof itself to clean and attenuate the flow, using the roof membrane as a store instead of digging a hole in the ground. Clean water then goes straight down and through into an enlarged flushing cistern in the toilets. This is a good way of using the void behind the cubicles and it also allows the pupils to see the water level.

    but Engineers report

    This building was also designed to catch rainwater, store it, and use it for flushing toilets etc, to save water. If the organic fabric was involved in catching, piping and storing the rainwater, intentionally or accidentally, the process of determining where the external membrane was leaking, everytime it rained would be complicated, and the leaks and decay could be spread anywhere within the building[S].

    Further Refs:
    White Design faces legal action over problems at exemplar eco-school
    White Design – Dartington CE School

    • August 5, 2016 10:50 am

      Thanks for the links, very interesting material. I like the use of wood as a building material, but not with water holding, also noted the use of “recycled trees” in the enviro-junk section. My grandmother used to collect rain water for washing as it is naturally soft, but that was a time when hard-work was expected (i.e. using buckets to transfer the collected water).

  17. yonason permalink
    August 16, 2016 8:42 am

    Due to a leaky roof?! Sounds like a flimsy excuse to me, …perhaps to cover for more fundamental issues?

    I remember reading shortly after it was built that the solar panels couldn’t deliver anywhere near the power needed, Also, (I might be misremembering this a bit) I think there was a problem with mold, due to lack of air circulation because of the insulation needed to retain heat in winter and cool air in summer?

    The thing was a flop from the get-go.

    I’ve been looking for a reference to this school for a while, without any luck until now. Thanks.

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