The brief for Bushbury Hill Primary School was to design a standard one-form-entry school with a 30-place nursery and facilities for a local multi-agency support team.
The ventilation and heating strategy has been kept simple, integrating full mechanical ventilation heat recovery for winter operation with a simplified heating system run off one domestic boiler applying heat when necessary to radiators. The building has been built to an airtightness standard as required for Passivhaus accreditation, achieving an air pressure result of 0.53 ach@50pa, as opposed to UK building regulations of air pressure 10ach@50pa. In summer, the building is predominantly naturally ventilated using openable windows, while in the winter the occupied spaces are fully ventilated using thermal ventilation heat recovery system, with efficiency of 80%.
The kitchen supply and extract system has been completely redesigned with a runaround coil heat recovery system with an efficiency of 50%. Heat induction equipment, as opposed to gas, produces less heat during cooking and prevents the room from overheating. The school was designed to Passivhaus standard within the allocated local authority budget. With no additional funds available for specific low-carbon and energy-efficiency measures, this required a high degree of innovation in maintaining a high level of architectural quality while removing unnecessary complexities, ensuring that through each step of the design process, the building would ultimately do the hard work of achieving low-energy running costs and eliminating the need for expensive add-ons as energy reducing measures.