Sustainability brief, Dumfries & Galloway

Client: Dumfries Learning Towns Project

A decision was made to take a step change in educational provision in Dumfries Burgh. Some of the existing facilities were considered to be in poor condition and their utilisation varied significantly. The project aimed to investigate the existing educational and training facilities and opportunities. It brought together all the regional stakeholders to rethink education and training in the Dumfries area for ages 3-18 in order best prepare young people for adulthood and employment and give all children in the Burgh the best possible opportunities.

Gaia assisted the Dumfries Learning Towns project team to write a sustainability brief for the project aimed at ‘ improving life chances for our children through collaborative working’. The brief was to apply sustainability at the strategy/thinking stage in order to help to determine the needs, requirements and aspirations. It was to look at all stages of the project from inception to handover and on-management. The Project team were keen to ensure that the project was driven and appraised by tools that add value not cost and box ticking.

Gaia led briefing workshops on sustainability issues with the project team, community and school pupils and developed a sustainability brief from their priorities and ambitions. The brief was developed on the Geddesian model of Folk, Work and Place. It was examined for time implications in order to ensure that innovative aspects or those perhaps requiring lead in times for special materials or skills were captured and planned for. It was also examined for cost implications with the intention to ensure that benchmark costs could be met through a holistic costing strategy.

    Priorities included:
  • Sharing of resources, equipment and space.
  • Targeting M&E services at no more than 20% of the overall cost through a fabric first approach to save on space and lifecycle cost.