The main focus of the research was to explore both the possibility and feasibility of retrofitting an existing primary school to reach Passivhaus standards. Cobden Primary School was chosen due to its accessibility and representation of existing primary schools that are too reliant on energy intensive services.
The research and design mainly focussed on the implementation of the five main Passivhaus principles: Super Insulation, Airtight Construction, Heat Control, Heat Recovery Ventilation and Thermal Bridging. These principles were incorporated into the design in the following ways:
• Super Insulation – The building was ‘wrapped’ in Expanded Polystyrene External Wall Insulation, reducing heat loss from the building.• Heat Control – Existing single glazed windows were replaced with triple glazing that possess a U-value of 0.64 W/m2K.• Heat Recovery Ventilation – A fixed plate-based heat recovery ventilation system was installed to provide spaces with fresh, heated air.• Airtight Construction & Thermal Bridging – These principles were considered in the production of technical resolutions, ensuring that there were no air gaps and that material choices were considered based upon their thermal properties.
The adoption of Passivhaus solutions are imperative if the UK government are to reach the requirements of the 2050 net zero carbon law.