You may have heard about Passivhaus but what about a Passivschool? Britian has its first (I’m sure there are plenty in Germany). The Passivhaus is a German standard of house that requires no heating and nowadays little if any energy input at all. The Passivschool is a the same thing – only a school (Hackbridge primary) in Sutton Surrey (not far from BedZED).
The school has aimed for materials used in its construction to have a low embodied energy has very high levels of insulation and low levels of air movement and cold bridges. However the classroom windows can be opened to allow them to deal with future heatwaves. The school has a lot of on-site renewables including PV’s and a heat pump. The heat pump can be used to cool in summer and will have elements of heat storage to allow for inter-seasonal heat transfer.
If only all new schools were built this way right? In fact almost none are. With only a handful even having on-site renewables. Unfortunately local authorities have almost no say over schools in their area in England and even if the school ask their rebuild plans to take climate change into account they have a battle on their hands. A school in Taunton is in this situation. The parents, pupils and staff have rejected the plans saying they don’t do enough to protect the planet. I wish them the best of luck.