Pupils have drawn up plans to create their own £500,000 eco-classroom – thought to be the first of its kind in the country.
The state-of-the-art room at Accrinton Academy will be powered by its own wind turbine and solar panels and will be constructed in part from recycled Accrington ‘nori’ brick, and insulated with straw.
Four of the youngsters involved – Callum Slinger, 15, Aimee French, Madison Holt and Daniel Rollings, all 13 – were recently invited to a conference in San Jose to talk about the plans with 600 leading architects.
At the conference they were given a special award by the Council of Education Facility Planners International recognising their architectural and design achievements.
Accrington Academy pupil Kamila Samin, 15, said: "It’s really exciting to get our eco-classroom to this stage.
"We’ve worked very hard for nearly two years, and soon we’ll be able to help get our design built."
Callum Slinger, 15, said: "We are honoured to have received this award as it proves that children are needed to make school design successful. After all, we are the people who get the benefit out of it."
Alison Watson from Class of Your Own, the company that has helped students establish their own company called Roots, said: "The building is a great example of what can be achieved if the construction industry engages and listens to young people. What students at Accrington Academy have achieved should be an example to schools and academies across the country."
Youngsters from the Queens Road West school were first approached by Clitheroe company Class of Your Own to create the classroom 18 months ago.
It will be built using a sustainably sourced timber frame and glulam beams to create a flexible, column-free space.
The plans were approved by Hyndburn Council’s planning committee earlier this year.
The total cost is expected to be between £350,000 and £450,000, with funding coming from several sources including Hyndburn Council which has donated £20,000.
From there Roots was formed, which is made up of 30 students aged between 13 and 15.
Pupils were invited to speak at the Council of Educational Facility Planners International about the project in California. They gave a presentation about the project’s development, and were all presented with an award by delegates who gave them a standing ovation for their efforts. Later this week Roots will decide on what building firm they want to complete the project. Building works are set to begin this winter.