From the very beginning of the project, we shared the head teachers vision for a school that would be as environmentally friendly as possible. The project was a steep learning curve in how to approach the issue of sustainability in school design. The completed design contains the following features:
renewable energy in the form of a ground source heating system (link opens in a new window)
maximum use of daylight in all classrooms from new rooflights.
natural ventilation system
timber structure to reduce embodied energy
smart energy metering linked to interactive display
upgrade of fabric and insulation in the existing building.
local artist commissioned to install a wood sculpture in the courtyard.
The process taught us about the importance of reducing energy demand; its so important to look at improving the fabric and energy efficiency of existing school buildings, especially if they are of the 1960 variety. They are often so poorly insulated that heat loss can cost thousands of pounds in wasted energy.
The contributions of renewable energy such as wind turbines and ground source heat pumps only make financial sense once you have made the building itself as energy efficient as possible. The building now has a much lower energy consumption compared with others of its type and one of the best scores against CO2 reduction in the County Estate.