Hackwood Primary Academy

Sector: Education
Status: Completed September 2019

The population of Derby’s suburbs is increasing and as such, the need to provide more infrastructure, housing and school places has been one of Derby City Council’s top priorities in recent years. With the creation of a large, new housing development comprising of 700 homes in Mickleover, the council approached Lungfish and Morgan Sindall to help deliver a brand-new primary school to support the growing community.

About the project

The new Hackwood Farm estate, two miles West of Derby city centre, is being built by housing developers Redrow Homes and Miller Homes, with the £5million school being funded through Section 106 agreements.

With the new estate growing rapidly, the school needed to be open and fully operational by September 2019. This meant Derby City Council required a fast approach to construction. Utilising our expertise in modular design and offsite solutions, and the speed to market offered through the Scape Venture framework, the project was live and onsite quickly.


In order to meet the timescales to design and build the new school, we knew that the offsite, modular approach was the best way forward to meet the client’s needs.

The major benefit of modular design is that cost and programme assurance can be guaranteed from a very early stage. With the offsite approach, almost 90% of the build is constructed away from site, which helped to minimise the impact on the local community already experiencing a high level of construction traffic. The 14,000sq ft school is created out of 42 carefully manufactured modules.

When it came to the modules arriving onsite in order to be craned into place, the collaborative approach to the timings ensured minimal disruption to the local community. Whilst one module was being craned off a lorry onsite, the next was lined up in a bay down the road, with further modules leaving the factory at intermittent timings to ensure a continuous and efficient process.

The successful collaboration with Derby City Council, Morgan Sindall and Scape Venture meant that we could ensure the school was delivered quickly and with minimal impact on the environment.


The modules arrived onsite at the end of February and went from foundation level to all modules being in place in just seven days, allowing the build to progress quickly and efficiently. Hackwood Primary Academy was handed over to The Harmony Trust in August 2019, opening it’s doors to the first cohort of pupils in September – just nine months after breaking ground.

The single storey one form-entry primary school features a large hall, six spacious classrooms and a 26-place nursery. Internally, the large classrooms will feature a modern and bright design throughout, creating positive and engaging learning environments. The building will provide an effective healthy indoor environment with natural day-lighting and ventilation along with thermal comfort and acoustics which have been designed to support educational attainment. The colour theme is continued externally, with cladding to reflect the school logo.

The school is also future proofed with an innovative, expandable layout that will allow additional teaching space to be added in the future, which could increase the total capacity up to 315.

“By working collaboratively with Hackwood Primary Academy and Morgan Sindall Construction, and utilising our expertise in designing schools, we have been able to create innovative, engaging spaces that will enhance the learning experience for the pupils.”

Simon Reid, Lungfish Architects

Education Estates Awards 2020

Highly Commended | Project of the Year Schools

Building Awards 2020

Finalist | Offsite Project

Offsite Awards 2020

Finalist | Education Project of the Year


Shortlisted | SPACES Yearbook & Civic Project of the Year 2020

CE East Midlands Awards 2020

Shortlisted | Offsite Award

RICS Social Impact Awards 2020

Shortlisted | Social Impact Award