READ Construction

Meole Brace
Vanguard Building

Innovative | Sustainable | CollaborativeOptimised Construction Solutions


Project name: Meole Brace Vanguard Building

Scope of Works: New build

Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Contract: JCT D&B 2016

Value: £2,000,000

Duration: 35 weeks

Client: Shropshire County Council


This national award-winning scheme formed a new teaching hub for Meole Brace secondary school in Shrewsbury.

The state-of-the-art new building comprised five classrooms, along with a small group meeting room, a staff room, toilets and storage. The building occupies a prominent site at the front of the school campus, with modern facilities to enhance the education of pupils.

The completed scheme achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and is a net zero-carbon facility, operating at a negative carbon impact.  To further boost the environmental credentials it has been designed and constructed to the stringent ’Passivhaus‘ standard, the first for Shropshire Council. The end result is a highly efficient building that consumes very little energy and delivers very high levels of comfort for all users of the building.

The building represents record-breaking levels of sustainability for Shropshire Council by delivering a future proofed education facility that stands out from the crowd as a ‘first of a kind’ in achieving Net Zero operational carbon.

The development has been commended for its innovative design that makes a positive contribution to alleviate the climate change emergency. This sustainable project was carefully designed and constructed with net-zero carbon credentials and has enhanced biodiversity and habitats.

The Vanguard Building represents a key step forward in building design for the council with the ‘zero-carbon’ design demonstrating the council’s commitment to responding to the climate crisis.


The scheme successfully won both the regional and national Constructing Excellence award for the Net Zero category – in the first year the category has been awarded. The expert judging panel recognised the commitment of the integrated team of designers, client, school stakeholders, contractor and supply partners, and their ambition to put climate change solutions at the heart of the project.

What was said ...
  • Harvey Gould, Architectural Technologist – PSG Group, Shropshire Council

    Shropshire Council have been working with Read Construction on delivery of a very high profile education project where Passivhaus compliance was a primary objective.  This has been a first for Shropshire Council and has proved to be very challenging for all concerned.  Read Construction have demonstrated commitment to the project throughout the process and despite the difficulties have remained focused on achieving the goals of the project. The Read management team have been efficient and professional and we have all learnt skills that we believe will become much more commonplace in construction over coming years in response to climate change concerns.

  • Jennie Fisher, Operations Manager – Meole Brace School

    Damian Bryan was very professional and ensured that we have a building to be proud of. I have nothing but praise for the site manager, Eilian Jones. He has been a pleasure to work with and would happily have him on site again.

    I would fully recommend Read Construction for schools. Eilian ensured that the construction site was safe and secure. He took the safeguarding of our students very seriously.

    We are delighted with the final product and as a Passivhaus building, we are looking forward to ‘living’ with it and seeing how it works.

  • Mr A Doust, Headteacher

    I wanted to take this opportunity on behalf of all students and staff at the school to thank Read Construction for the delivery of our new teaching hub – the Vanguard Building.

    From the beginning of the project we have been included in decisions that will impact the final teaching space and this has been greatly appreciated.

    In particular we would like to recognise the professionalism of the Site Manager, Eilian Jones. He has ensured that the site has been safe and secure during the build, which has been critical as the build is within the school grounds and next to an area of the school which is used by vulnerable students.

    Eilian has provided regular updates on the works and/or delivery schedules to the school, which has minimised any disruption to teaching and learning. Any issues that have occurred have been swiftly dealt with.

    During the final finishing touches Eilian has included the school in the decision processes which has aided the feeling of it being our school. He has provided site tours to the staff who will be teaching in the new block which has given them a real sense of ownership.

    Finally, we would unreservedly recommend Read Construction as a considerate contractor who takes the responsibility of safeguarding students seriously.

Related News

Here are some news stories associated with this project.

You may also be interested in ...

Take a look at the work we do.

Your Next Project Starts with Us Please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Get In Touch