Easthouses Primary School installs low carbon steel frame

Topic Carbon, Schools and Colleges, Projects

Date 30 Oct 2023

Morrison Construction’s Easthouses Primary School project, being delivered through Hub South East for Midlothian Council, has reached an early milestone, with the low carbon steel frame now in place, the first of its kind for the business.

The frame has been constructed utilising Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) steel, which significantly reduces the use of fossil fuels over Blast Furnace Basic Oxygen Furnace by using electrical processes and utilising higher percentages of recycled content. 

Working with subcontractor BSB Structural Limited and supplier Barrett Steel Ltd each individual item of steel used has a full chain of custody with an accurate carbon cost against it, allowing the project team to have an in-depth understanding of what has been used, and therefore have an accurate assessment of the carbon saving of using EAF steel.

The calculations demonstrate that the steel frame has achieved a 70% carbon saving against traditional blast furnace steel, representing an overall project saving of 14%, while currently proving to be no more expensive in terms of cost.

Morrison Construction’s Building Central business unit has committed to using the solution for all steel-framed educational facilities going forward, after developing a cost-effective solution in collaboration with its supply chain as part of its Net Zero Partners initiative.

Easthouses Primary School will house 459 pupils once completed, with 16 spaces for students with Additional Support Needs. The school will also provide space for 80 pre-school children, and will provide a new learning space for young people across Midlothian.

Once complete, the school will comprise of two wings, each linked by a shared space with dining facilities, as well as a multi-purpose hall.

Allan Smith, Low Carbon Manager for Morrison Construction, commented: “Our new approach using EAF steel is producing great results already, and we are excited by the level of detail and understanding we have been able to achieve so far at Easthouses, and reinforces the work we are doing with our supply chain via our Net Zero Partners initiative. 

“The learning we can take from the installation of the frame here will help inform our work in this area in the future, allowing us to further refine our methods and make steel a genuine low carbon option for construction going forward.”

Midlothian Council Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Ellen Scott said: “Seeing the low carbon steel frame in place is an exciting reminder the new school will be welcoming its first pupils in August next year while helping us towards our Net Zero ambitions by 2030.”