First Passivhaus Schools in UK receive certification!

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in news | Comments Off on First Passivhaus Schools in UK receive certification!

A milestone in the UK building industry was reached today with the formal certification of the first
Passivhaus schools in the UK.
We are delighted to announce the completion of the rigorous certification process, and issue
Passivhaus Certificates for the first three Passivhaus schools in the UK:

  • Bushbury Hills Primary School in Wolverhampton, commissioned by Wolverhampton City Council, designed by Architype and built by Thomas Vale Construction
  • Montgomery Primary School in Exeter, commissioned by Devon County Council, designed by NPS and built by BAM Construction
  • Oakmeadow Primary School in Wolverhampton, commissioned by Wolverhampton City Council, designed by Architype and built by Thomas Vale Construction

There are many architects and contractors out there claiming that they are building to ‘Passivhaus principles’, but it is only going through this tough and formal Certification process that gives credibility to such claims. Many congratulations to Architype, Thomas Vale, NPS and BAM for putting themselves through this process, and for achieving certification – this is a huge achievement!

The approach of each design team was different, demonstrating that Passivhaus can be achieved using different design approaches and types of construction. NPS adopted a heavyweight concrete SIPS solution, and added photovoltaics to achieve a ‘zero-carbon’ solution, whereas Architype focussed on developing the timber construction for which they are well known, and on delivering Passivhaus within a standard budget.

Wolverhampton City Council, Architype and Thomas Vale are supporting their schools with an innovative Soft Landings and monitoring programme. Devon County Council has undertaken to monitor the performance of the building, and has funded a PhD study as a condition of the Zero Carbon Task Force grant. Both teams have agreed to share and publish data for the benefit of the building industry, in order that the two different approaches to Passivhaus can be compared.
Arthur Tatchell, Director of Architecture at NPS (Group) Exeter said ”Achieving Passivhaus at Montgomery Primary School had been a steep learning curve for all involved in the design and construction process. We are very grateful for the assistance given by Warm Low Energy Building Practice, David Coley of Bath University, the Zero-Carbon Task Force and Devon County Council in enabling us to develop what we believe is also the first “zero-carbon in use” school in Europe”.

“We are delighted to have achieved Passivhaus Certification, and hope that we have helped to move the UK building industry forward by delivering the first Passivhaus schools at no extra cost”, said Jonathan Hines, director of Architype, “but, for us the most important thing is that the children love their new building, and the staff tell us that the children are staying more alert and concentrating better, due to the comfort and quality of the internal environment with its constant supply of fresh air”

For further information on the Wolverhampton schools please contact:

Jonathan Hines, Director of Architype t: 01981 542111

For further information on the Exeter school please contact:

Arthur Tatchell, Director of Architecture, NPS. t: 01392 351085