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Edinburgh brings Passivhaus standard to schools estate strategy

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February 19 2021

Edinburgh brings Passivhaus standard to schools estate strategy

City of Edinburgh Council has revealed plans to build the first Passivhaus-designed secondary school in the country as part of an aggressive bid to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across the city by 2030.

Currie Community High School has been conceived from the ground up by sustainability specialists Architype to minimise the amount of energy required in operation and so reduce harmful emissions.

Combining low energy requirements with digital learning and community access the campus will feature a strong emphasis on outdoor learning, overseen by Wardell Armstrong, including a second-floor terrace to provide all classrooms with direct external access.

Headteacher Jenny Smith said: "We’re incredibly excited as a community about our new school. The designs are coming together beautifully and truly representative of our community vision for education and lifelong learning. Our new school is going to be innovative and pioneering in every way, very much flying the Passivhaus flag, and of course, the first of its kind in Scotland."

The first of a kind school is expected to complete in 2024.

A sports and learning block will share a common entrance
A sports and learning block will share a common entrance
Visitors will be able to avail themselves of a library, digital services, café, gym and pool
Visitors will be able to avail themselves of a library, digital services, café, gym and pool

9 Comments

Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 19 Feb 2021 at 10:26 AM
Just what you need in the middle of a CV pandemic -- very limited airflows provided by mechanical ventilation.

Civic Scotland needs to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time rather than try and win the last war on the cheap.

New Age "Sick Building Syndrome"?
MMcEwan
#2 Posted by MMcEwan on 19 Feb 2021 at 14:12 PM
Horrible, disproportionate and unimaginative boxy design. This is not what a truly sustainable learning environment should be like.
Mary Hill
#3 Posted by Mary Hill on 19 Feb 2021 at 15:33 PM
Looks like no thought has been given to the external play environment which is really disappointing in this day and age
S.Halliday
#4 Posted by S.Halliday on 19 Feb 2021 at 22:22 PM
Sustainability specialists?? This is a sad example of architecture being overridden by energy efficiency - the new functionalism.
MMcgurk
#5 Posted by MMcgurk on 22 Feb 2021 at 14:01 PM
Uninspiring despite the passivehaus credentials...
Whispering Andy
#6 Posted by Whispering Andy on 22 Feb 2021 at 14:42 PM
Whisper it.....but I dont see a fully internal dining room as being a good environmental design. I certainly wouldnt want to have a thousand kids in a room with no external views. Seems more like a secure facility approach. Is this maybe a current take on Borstal?

Unfortunately this proposal will be boxed in the 'well intentioned, poorly executed' category.

Unfortunate.
FionaG
#7 Posted by FionaG on 22 Feb 2021 at 16:08 PM
For these architects a school is simply a "machine for learning in". Narrow conceptions of architecture and sustainability!
Confused and suprised
#8 Posted by Confused and suprised on 23 Feb 2021 at 10:31 AM
I am slightly confused by this proposal.
It looks to me like a completely off the shelf ESFA / DFE baseline / reference design from the English priority schools programme. ( it was the colour scheme on plan that gave it away!!!) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/baseline-design-superblock-1200-place-secondary-school
I am extremely surprised to see Scottish local authorities adopting this approach as the PSBP programme is a not something to aspire to, and in terms of educational aspiration is a massive step backwards. The PSBP programme is not developed around sustainability - rather was developed around minimum cost £m2.
This concerns me.
Jim McLellan
#9 Posted by Jim McLellan on 3 Mar 2021 at 15:56 PM
Not clear where this is positioned on existing site. There is sufficient space to build a new school whilst retaining the old in order to save expenditure on temporary classroom village costs.

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