Passive Solar National School


This three-storey 40-class national school has been proposed as a key generator in a new town centre development.  Its main, slightly curved façade has been oriented to east-south-east, as opposed to due south, because the school will be used relatively little in late afternoon.    

70% of the classrooms have unimpeded views to the east-south-east, while administration, arrival and classrooms for some older children face north.  51% of classrooms (those at ground level and ‘penthouse’ level) also have classroom gardens which allow the teaching space to spill outside.  The high level gardens also provide a viewing area for sports events in the playing fields below.   

The layout of informal play areas, the high level gardens, the central atrium and the stage in the GP Hall all promote the theatrical and the development of social skills.   

Classrooms are paired to allow easy supervision by neighbouring teachers when required and entrance/exit points are designed to suit children but give easy control and supervision by staff.   

Its design suits a modular assembly of timber frame panels and infill using, amongst others, sprayed hemp-lime biocomposite.    

In terms of energy standard this building is clearly passive solar in design.  We believe however it could be built to ‘Passive House’ standard.