BAM to deliver £32.8 Million Net Zero Orchards Academy secondary school in Kent

BAM is to construct a new 750 pupil secondary school featuring strong sustainability credentials and design supporting diverse learning needs at the Orchards Academy in Swanley, Kent. The £32.8 million project will deliver a full 100% new build school replacement on a live school site.

Artist impression

Since 2009, BAM has been on the Department for Education’s five most recent frameworks, and during this time has created more than 90,000 pupil places and 675,000 sqm of education facilities.

The scope of work includes new classroom facilities, indoor sports provisions, and the addition of new external soft sports pitches. Upon completion, the building will provide enhanced learning environments for children, with improved thermal efficiency and ample natural daylighting. The design emphasises well-proportioned spaces, faculty adjacencies, and integrated furniture and equipment to support diverse learning needs. The project is scheduled for completion in Q3 2026.

Daniel Brenchley, Construction Manager, BAM, said:

‘The Orchard Academy will meet the highest standards of quality and sustainability design, aligning perfectly with our own mission of building a sustainable tomorrow. The buildings well thought out spaces, providing access to plenty of natural day light, will create an environment supporting learning and growth for all learning needs. Once complete, the Academy will also become an integral part of the community with the school’s modern facilities offering a hub for local sports teams, organisations, and the public.’

The school will be designed to achieve net-zero carbon building in operation. Key sustainability features include 1,400 square meters of PV panels, a green roof to reduce overheating and provide natural habitats and low carbon concrete in some of the structural elements. The project also prioritises natural ventilation and use Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS).

In addition to BAM the project team will include Bond Bryan Architects, The Department of Education (DfE), Sevenoaks District Council, and The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT). The new building will consist of two distinct blocks: a teaching block and a sports hall block. The construction will integrate innovative modular construction techniques, ensuring minimal disruption to the live school environment.