Hackbridge Primary is the UK’s first true net zero carbon school, and the first designed to the ‘PassivHaus Plus’ standard.
Set on a site that is adjacent to a nature reserve and bordered by the iconic sustainable development BedZed, the brief called for designs that responded to the natural context and ambitious sustainability aspirations of the client, the London Borough of Sutton. The 420-pupil school and nursery was Architype's first PassivhausPlus school, and was designed to allow for future expansion.
The superb internal conditions create a nurturing environment with high air quality for the students’ learning and development. With an exceptional level of energy efficiency, the additional Low Zero Carbon technologies achieve a true zero-carbon building, which actively contributes energy to the national grid from energy generated from photovoltaic panels on the biodiverse green roofs.
The site’s landscaping extends the learning outside – with opportunities for pupils to engage with nature and learn more about their surrounding – and provides natural, low impact drainage solutions.
To achieve net zero carbon the design applies rigorous PassivHaus building envelope insulation and air tightness requirements, with triple glazed windows that enhance thermal comfort and provide excellent daylighting. Modelling was carried out to ensure the orientation of the building was optimised for solar gains, reducing the risk of overheating and minimising cooling requirements.
Essential to the success of this project was the commitment to net zero by all stakeholders. Therefore, careful consideration was taken by the architects and engineers, to select materials that enhance health and wellbeing, have low embodied energy and be easy to construct and maintain. This included the use of significant amounts bio-based and recycled materials.