Passivhaus design will save 80% on energy at the two schools in Wolverhampton

A joint venture between contractor Thomas Vale and architect Architype are set to become among the first developers to build a Passivhaus accredited school building in the UK.

The international Passivhaus standard sets a high bar for the reduction of energy consumption both in the building’s construction and operation while maintaining building user comfort.

The joint venture’s two schools in Wolverhampton are in the process of being accredited and set to be awarded the standard by the end of the month. The design has been achieved at zero extra capital build cost to the £10m project.

Architect NPS’ Montgomery School in Exeter, which was built by BAM, is set to be awarded the standard at the same time. The Montgomery school also hopes to achieve a zero carbon rating with much of its power produced on site through renewables.

Tony Hyde, group managing director of Thomas Vale, said: “Standardised schools are proving more and more expensive, not only that, they distract away from the learning establishments own identity, the school’s values and its visions.”

Thomas Vale and architect Architype’s buildings will deliver energy savings of at least 80% over standardised construction methods according to the team.

The two companies are now jointly bidding to build other Passivhaus schools across the country.

Wolverhampton council embarked on the project to refurbish and rebuild more than half the schools in the city last year with a budget of £16.6m.