Montgomery school at concept stage

Montgomery Primary School was designed to be zero-carbon in use, a claim that has been verified by site monitoring

Montgomery Primary School

We worked with local architectural design firm NPS South West and Devon County Council on the design of the replacement building for Montgomery Primary School in Exeter, and contributed to design discussions and used modelling to test different design options.  

The project won the CIBSE Building Performance Award 2014 for the New Build Project of the Year (up to £10 million) and was the first primary school in the UK to achieve zero carbon in use.  We are continuing to monitor energy and water use at the school to verify in-use performance over a number of years.

To achieve this, the building was designed with a highly insulated and airtight envelope to minimise heat loss.  The building is able to make good use of incidental heat gains to maintain a reasonable temperature during the winter.  This design philosophy is known as Passivhaus design and has a successful track record in mainland Europe-including over 25 schools in Germany and Austria.  The Flemish region of Belgium has recently implemented a school building programme in which every school is to be Passivhaus certified. 

By using minimal energy for heating combined with energy efficient electrical appliances, the overall energy demand of the building is very low.  The decision was made to make any additional heating services electric, allowing a photovoltaic array to provide the building’s energy in the form of electricity. 

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