The brand new Leigh UTC, specialising in engineering and computer science in Dartford has achieved a rare distinction. Construction of the new build facility returned zero waste to landfill.

The recent build programme included a high tech engineering workshop, and a three-story classroom block with a car park with external recreation facility, but the £10 million project which caters for 600 students aged between 14 and 19 still diverted over 1000 cubic metres of waste away from potentially hazardous landfill sites – a full 100% of all waste generated.

Its carbon footprint was lower than the targets set by construction company BAM for its projects, and all of 18 cubic metres of timber used in construction came from sustainable sources.

Alan Newland, who project managed the building which houses the engineers and technicians of the future, said:

“Leigh UTC received an A-rated energy performance certificate, and thoughtful techniques we used included selling back 70 pallets that would have become waste, and using offsite fabrication used to reduce the use of natural resources on site. Our site accommodation was eco-friendly too. There is no reason why you can’t build considerately and responsibly today.”

The site’s environmental performance was assessed by independent inspectorate the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) which visited twice and rated it as “exceptional” both times. It has photovoltaic panels, sustainable drainage systems and a CHP generator for heating and cooling.

BAM handed over the new UTC four weeks early to allow the new student intake in September last year, and it is now home to around 300 of the potential 600 students. The company is at work elsewhere in Kent on Ashford College for the Hadlow Group, Five Acre Woods SEN school in Maidstone and Foxwood and Highview School in Folkestone, where the project manager has arranged a charitable cycle to pay for a new sunken trampoline.

The company was the contractor behind the Bluewater Events Centre and Whitefriars shopping centre in Canterbury, and more recently it built North West Kent College’s Gravesend and Dartford campuses as well as the Medway suite of academies for Strood, Brompton and Bishop of Rochester.