Wales gains its first Passivhaus school

A Welsh primary school designed by the architectural firm Architype, in collaboration with architects from Carmarthenshire County Council, will be the country’s first educational centre constructed to Passivhaus standards.

Burry Port school in Carmarthenshire has received funding from the County Council’s multimillion pound “Modernising Education” programme. Three buildings will combine Burry Port’s junior and infant schools, providing superior quality classroom accommodation for 210 pupils, plus a nursery, while maintaining a low carbon footprint.

Work on the project begins this summer and it is set to be completed in autumn 2015, at a cost of £3.8m.

The Passivhaus school will have increased levels of daylight inside, as well as controlled fresh air ventilation, ensuring that pupils are more comfortable and alert throughout the day. Externally, the use of timber cladding will provide links with the natural world.

Four new classrooms will be created, along with two teaching spaces, a meeting room, a staff room and toilets. The design includes an unusual pod building with an elliptical shape, which will be constructed from timber following a pioneering technique that has already been used by architects in North Wales to build the visitor centre in Coed y Brenin, Snowdonia.

The Passivhaus standard ensures that buildings are constructed to be extremely energy efficient, with such schools therefore having economical, as well as ecological, advantages. They typically cost less to run than conventional educational buildings, with operating costs being on average 70% lower. It is hoped that the design will have a positive effect on the well-being of pupils.

Posted by Matt Hughes
June 12, 2014

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