Passivhaus Schools

The good air quality, stable temperatures & low running costs have made Schools an obvious target for Passivhaus design, and we are very pleased to be involved in 5 projects across the UK, consisting of:

Montgomery school in Exeter: we’ve been working as the designers for this project and alongside the Passivhaus Institut also the certifiers.  Read more here.

Bushbury & Oakmeadow schools in Wolverhampton: we’re the certifiers for these two schools which have been designed by Architype, Alan Clarke & Nick Grant.  Based on a timber frame and with much more southerly glazing these schools are a completely different approach to Montgomery.

These three buildings are now occupied and we’re within sight of a completed Certification, see the blog 

Richmond Hill school in Leeds: we are certifying this school and also providing some design advice.  This is the largest and most complex of all of the schools.  The poor ground conditions and use of a steel frame mean this is the most technically demanding building.  The Architects for this project are David Savage and Carinna Gebhard from _Space. 

Swillington school in Leeds: we have recently certified this building which has been designed again by Architype, Alan Clarke & Nick Grant and based on similar principals as the Wolverhampton schools.

Both Richmond Hill & Swillington are currently under construction by Interserve, aiming to complete by Sept 2012.

There are substantial differences between UK and European schools such as hours of use, class sizes and kitchen facilities which have meant the design of a school isn’t as clear cut as a residential development.  We think (hope!) we’ve now got a good understanding of the differences and are able to apply the Passivhaus standard in a meaningful way to the UK projects.

Our involvement in these projects is both as Certifiers or Designers and we are looking forward to some good UK examples of Passivhaus schools as we currently have none.  In the meantime, if you are interested in what a built Passivhaus school can achieve, the Riedberg school is an excellent example: