Flybe Training Academy

CEEQUAL Very Good – Design & Construction Award
Version 4, Nov 2011 | Exeter, England

Client: Flybe
Design: Robinson Architects, Robinson Engineers and MKP
Construction: Flybe

Assessor: Joanna Goodwin

Project Summary

The Flybe Training Academy is located on a 12 hectare site close to the company’s existing headquarters at Exeter Airport.

The Training Academy was jointly funded by Flybe, the Learning and Skills Council and the former South West Regional Development Agency. The achievement of a CEEQUAL Award was proposed by the South West Regional Development Agency to encourage sustainable design and construction in the South West.

The two story building comprises 26 classrooms and a separate wing for four flight simulators and engineering workshops. The academy will provide training for pilots, engineering apprentices, cabin crew and others. Links have been made with existing programmes offered at Exeter College and Exeter University.

A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant was constructed adjacent to the building to provide power and heat. Car parking is provided to the front and rear of the building. The east of the building is adjoined by a new landscaped marshland and public art feature.



The Flybe Training Academy scored particularly well on the following: Water Resources and the Water Environment, Waste Management, Transport and Relations with Local Community and Stakeholders. Providing a high quality external landscape was of key importance to Flybe and the project team. Flybe were also extremely keen to ensure community support of the proposed works and the benefits that the project could bring to the south west.

Water Resources and the Water Environment

The soft landscaping to the east of the building is centred on an existing watercourse that was diverted and enhanced as part of the works. The area surrounding the watercourse has been populated with marshland planting and provides biodiversity enhancement. New native hedgerow was planted to the east and west of the building and incorporates Quercus Robur trees that aim to encourage bats.

Flood risk within the site and surrounding land is an issue due to the number of small watercourses that pass through the area. Significant flood water storage provision is now available within the new marshland area and in below ground attenuation tanks. The project has demonstrated to provide betterment over existing flood conditions.

Other small watercourses that flow along the periphery of the site were retained in the design and well protected during construction through demarcation, treatment of site runoff prior to discharge and regularly monitoring of water quality upstream and downstream of the site. The academy also incorporates rainwater harvesting for re-use within the building and permeable paving within car parking areas.

Waste Management

The construction team provided good facilities for waste segregation and reviewed the receiving waste facilities to ensure recycling targets could be met. All inert waste generated on site was diverted from landfill with confirmation from the waste transfer sites that in excess of 90% of waste was recycled. Approximately 87.43% of non-hazardous waste generated on site was segregated and diverted from landfill.


A comprehensive Transport Assessment and Travel Plan was prepared to support the development and maximise opportunities for promoting more sustainable modes of transport. The location of the Flybe Training Academy was selected due to its proximity to the existing headquarters at Exeter Airport. However, the site is also served by a regular bus route and existing pedestrian and cycle routes were improved with on-site provision of cycle storage.

A Traffic Management Plan was prepared by the construction team to minimise adverse impacts during construction and reduce traffic movements where possible. Haulage movements were scheduled to avoid clashes with Flybe staff shift changes. Early morning appointments for deliveries were requested to avoid rush hour traffic along the adjacent A30. Car sharing of construction staff was promoted and traffic movements during the construction phase were monitored to gauge the success of the scheme.

Relations with Local Community and Stakeholders

Creating links with the local community was an important aspect of this project. Flybe ran an extensive programme of events with local community groups, schools and colleges during all phases of the project. The events aimed to create support for the construction of the facility, but more importantly they aimed to raise awareness of the types of courses and careers that would be offered, particularly to young people and those interested in engineering.

A piece of public art was commissioned by Flybe for incorporation into the external landscaping. This was procured through a competition amongst local colleges with a public display of the shortlisted options provided to gain public feedback. A team from South Devon College were selected as the winner of the competition and their proposal has since been constructed in a prominent position adjacent to the Training Academy.

During construction, the contractor prepared and issued regular newsletters that were distributed to local residents. The letters summarised progress made to date and upcoming planned work items. The letters also aimed to maintain a close link with the surrounding community to ensure open channels of communication were available should any issues arise that could be addressed quickly by the construction team.