Two Rivers Primary School achieves Passivhaus Plus certification
ISG’s Two Rivers Primary School project in Keynsham has officially achieved Passivhaus Plus environmental certification, the first of its kind for the Department for Education (DfE) and ISG. Certifier, Warm, reviewed the evidence provided to show it met the quality and sustainability requirements set by the Passivhaus Institute.
The new 420-place school on the Hygge Park development has been delivered for the DfE to meet the needs of the town’s growing population, in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
What is Passivhaus?
Passivhaus is an international low energy design standard which minimises the environmental impact of buildings and uses the best approaches to ensure energy efficiency.
In addition, the ‘Passivhaus Plus’ standard means the building not only reduces energy use, but also produces as much energy as occupants consume. The energy generated comes from renewable sources and provides enough energy to operate the building throughout the year.
During the construction four members of ISG’s team, project director, Jon Oulsnam, senior site manager, Adam Makki, senior site manager, Richard Booth and industrial placement construction manager, Toby Palmer, became certified Passivhaus Tradespeople. This certification gives in depth understanding of the concepts behind Passivhaus design, the physics that underpin it and various technical aspects such as being able to calculate U Values for complex wall build ups, calculate energy loss, or heat gain, and also to spot potential issues on site and develop solutions.
The aim to become a Passivhaus Plus school was implemented at the design phase with the local council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency.
The council has contributed just under £1m in additional funds to the £6.5m project, to ensure that the school meets the highest sustainability standards possible.
The school produces its own energy from photovoltaic panels on the roof which incorporate:
- high levels of insulation with no thermal bridging
- high performance triple glazed windows and doors with insulated frames
- a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery systems
- two electric air source heat pumps and QTon water heater (natural refrigerant)
- low energy building services and equipment
- all electric services, meaning it needs no gas supply for the building
The purpose built two-form entry primary school at the heart of a new housing development is operated by Futura Learning Partnership and opened in November 2022.Paul Watkins, Account Director for ISG said. “This is a standout moment for ISG, the DfE, and Bath & North East Somerset Council, to deliver the first Passivhaus Plus school together. This now provides a blueprint for others to follow, as we continue to find ways to reduce the level of emissions we produce as an industry. These projects are also inspiring and engaging the pupils, our future generation, as they learn more about the ways that we can help to protect our environment.”
Following on from this successful project, we have embedded the learning from the Two Rivers School into a number of other projects UK-wide. Our Two Bridges School in Thornbury will see us deliver a low embodied carbon special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) facility, which will also be net zero in operation, and our Tempo project in Maidenhead will see our team retrofit an existing commercial office space targeting National Australian Built Environment Ratings System UK (NABERS UK) certification for Legal & General.