When working with educational institutions our teams strive to create stimulating, collaborative, and safe learning environments that foster the critical thinkers of the future. Our projects span the entire education sector, from nurseries, primary and secondary schools to colleges and some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Responding to education’s challenges

We deliver well-designed buildings and infrastructure, shaped by a profound understanding of the educational requirements of each establishment. WSP has close ties to the communities we work in – we work where we live. Motivated by this connection, our teams are able draw on local and global expertise to support schools, universities, research institutes, local authorities and government bodies to meet the high standards demanded by today’s students, while responding to the challenges of increasing budgetary constraints, the ever-growing reliance on technology, new expectations from students, security needs and the impacts of climate change.

Sustainable academic infrastructure

Our experts design sustainable academic buildings that are healthy, safe and efficient. A positive and productive atmosphere contributes to improved student attention by ensuring high levels of comfort, air quality, natural lighting, and acoustics.

In addition to designing inherently low-energy buildings, we consider the environmental impact of educational facilities on their surrounding areas, addressing issues such as transport, water, materials, ecology and land use.

21st Century learning environments

Whether our involvement is in a new building or a modernisation of existing facilities, we work closely with clients to develop flexible learning environments adapted to the increasing thirst for knowledge and the rapidly evolving needs of the 21st century. Above all, we are committed to delivering cost effective and sustainable solutions which support academic aspirations and help educational institutions attract and retain students and staff, all while contributing to the wider community.

Primary and secondary education

Primary and secondary schools must be inspiring and inviting, whilst responding to the driving need to address the constrained budgets of government. We work closely with end users and funders to develop solutions that are space and energy efficient, using materials that will survive heavy use over the course of decades.

With a long list of successful projects, we recognise that flexibility is crucial to design. Whether classrooms need to be able to change physical sizes and layouts or electrical systems need to allow for increased connectivity and digital support, we have the expertise and knowledge to address virtually any challenge no matter how large or small. We don’t just deliver high performing and adaptable classrooms, but also solutions that take into account the whole system that includes administration offices, cafeterias, playgrounds, gymnasiums, labs and libraries – creating welcoming spaces where children, teachers and mentors can thrive.

In the UK, we are providing the engineering input to the 23,000m² Knockroon Learning and Enterprise Campus in East Ayrshire that will house 2,500 students and 300 staff. Our input, providing, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and public health services will allow this large development to be delivered effectively.  Facilities will include a secondary school, a primary school, a nursery, as well as support for those with additional educational needs.

Tertiary education

Our education sector experts have provided engineering and advisory services to hundreds of universities and colleges.  Modern universities hold diverse portfolios of property and have many investment objectives. From enhancing ageing teaching facilities, re-tasking historic buildings, delivering modern student accommodation, laboratory and teaching/learning facilities – we deliver on all aspects university life.

At Glasgow University we are delivering the new Learning and Teaching Hub that provides a transformative approach to place-making, creating a signature ‘gateway’ building at the heart of the University, forming a more cohesive campus by providing connectivity between facilities. As the centre-piece of Glasgow's estate regeneration it goes hand-in-hand with the new Research Hub we are also designing.  At the other end of the country our multi-disciplinary work on the regeneration of the Moulsecoomb Campus for the University of Brighton is part of an increasing popular model to work with private sector investors.

Recognised by our peers for excellence, our services for post-secondary institutions include among others, structural engineering, buildings services engineering, lighting design, acoustics, sustainability consulting and project management. Projects like the University of British Columbia’s Library in Vancouver, the new campuses for Goethe University in Frankfurt, and the Manhattanville campus of Columbia University in New York demonstrate our ability to deliver expertise across the globe.