In response to a recent surge in pupils, last week saw the opening of a very special school; a school innovatively designed to be both environmentally and economically friendly, a school both pioneering and ‘future proof’, and a school with world class facilities to benefit not only those learning, but also the wider community.
Richmond Hill Primary School, in Leeds, was built to meet Passivhaus design standards; this means that its buildings were designed and constructed to high environmental standards in order to:
- Minimise energy requirements;
- Reduce water consumption;
- Lower its overall environmental footprint.
The aim of the school is to inspire others to follow sustainable development principals, including environmental protection, economic development and social development within the innovative designs.
In striving towards these principals, the school not only achieved official Passivhaus certification, but smashed the air tightness target of the one-and-only Passivhaus Institute! Richmond Hill Primary School will also use up to 80% less energy than conventional schools, creating dramatic cost savings, as a result of paying close attention to creating an air-tight and well insulated building envelope.
The school is set to improve its environmental footprint by reducing carbon emissions by 60%; features of the building which allow this include:
- Superb levels of insulation, coupled with a highly efficient mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system;
- Excellent thermal wall insulation due to Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) manufactured off-site featuring polyurethane insulation, used to form the structural fabric of the walls;
- A roof characterised by extremely high insulation properties;
- Triple glazed windows, certified by the Passivhaus Institute, which both facilitate excellent standards of thermal insulation and also help to minimise air leakage.
Well, we’ve established that it is environmentally friendly, but is it really all that innovative? The school features a number of ground-breaking and ‘future proof’ qualities including wide corridors – or ‘learning streets’ – to allow for group and individual learning away from the traditional classroom; larger classrooms to allow for future flexibility across the school and small group rooms for personalised learning. On top of this, there is a state of the art multi-purpose hall and a dedicated multi-purpose community space for the good of the wider community.
Check out a cool visual experience of how polyurethane roofs for passive houses are built here!
Don’t forget to visit our Passive House website to find out more about how polyurethanes improve sustainable living here.
Find out more about the ISOPA Polyurethanes Passive House Project from our brochure here.