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Introduction Beaumont Community Primary School, near Ipswich is a primary school and nursery, with 102 pupils in total. The new building was completed in August 2003.

The brief demanded a school building that was low maintenance and environmentally friendly. The aim was to build a 'normal' school which took every possible step to reduce its impact on the environment (within budget constraints). One aim was to use as little mains water as possible. 

Description The school has a built-in system to harvest rainwater. This collects water from the roof and stores it in an underground tank. The water is then pumped into the school where it is used to flush toilets and urinals, and to water the garden. The building management system monitors the water, automatically collecting data on the use of mains water and rainwater. It also monitors any mains water top-up used during dry periods.

In the first year, the school used a 170 m3 of water, of which 37% was harvested rainwater. This equates to an annual figure of 1.66 m3 per pupil.

Key to success was teaching staff and children how to use water wisely. A colour information display screen in the school entrance shows the school's water use in tabular and graphical forms. Teachers use this information in maths and science lessons as a 'real life' example of data collection.

Project team Suffolk County Council Design Team

Further information