SWS Case Studies

Mill Water School, Bicton, Devon

This outstanding £7.9m facility provides a high quality, sustainable building boasting fit for purpose spaces including a hydro pool with full hoist system, sensory rooms, a rebound room, therapy rooms and group rooms together with stimulating external playing spaces.


NPS overcame complex building challenges and employed a highly innovative approach to create the much-needed replacement special school in East Devon. This school is the only special school located in the East Devon area and caters for 100 day pupils, ages 3-19, with profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex needs.


NPS provided full design and project management services. Inclusive design was one of the most important features, as every pupil attending has some form of physical or learning difficulty. Key design considerations included good colour contrast suitable for children with autism and partial sight, handrails at two heights, no dead end corridors and easy navigation.

The design also had to integrate visually and aesthetically with the surrounding setting and the cultural heritage of Bicton Park and the adjacent Bicton College, whilst enriching and enhancing the biodiversity of the site within the landscape.

SWS paid special attention to the door closers to facilitate the movement of personnel through the building.

Creation of a new lock suite to allow staff access to certain rooms, together with fittings to prevent the risk of any harm to the users, including finger protection etc.

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