On-Demand Webinar: Low Carbon

Webinar Synopsis:

UK’s First Passivhaus EnerPHit (deep energy retrofit) School: Sarah Lewis, Hamson Barron Smith

East Ayrshire Council and Hamson Barron Smith (HBS) will be working together over the next two years to design and deliver the UKs first Passivhaus EnerPHit* school building at St Sophia’s in Galston.  This project will make a meaningful contribution to how we view existing poorly performing school buildings and to what extent they can be rejuvenated to once again provide exemplar-learning environments. Prioritising the health and well-being of teachers and students and significantly reducing the schools environmental impact.

Based on good building physics, the Passivhaus standard is internationally recognised as a leading low-energy build standard, successfully implemented worldwide. By focusing on increased building fabric efficiency there is a reduced need for bolt-on enhancements, which so often underperform in the long term.

Monitoring of Passivhaus buildings has shown that these perform extremely well, in many cases exceeding predictions. Built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, and can be certified through an exacting quality assurance process. Resulting in comfortable healthy buildings that are affordable to run, future proofing these buildings for the demands of our changing climate.

Using East Ayrshire Council and HBS’s combined experience, along with innovative thinking and expert knowledge of current best practice, we will be able to realise some of the largest energy reductions in any school renovation in the country. The renovated school will be intrinsically sustainable, flexible, long lasting and economical to run.

Throughout the project Soft Landing processes will be implemented, ultimately tracking the energy and comfort performance of the completed school with advanced web-based monitoring systems, ensuring not only the optimum performance of this project but the continual refinement and improvement of the buildings we all deliver.

*EnerPHit is the Passivhaus Standard for deep energy retrofits of existing buildings.


Net Zero Carbon, and the importance of material Choice: Stephen Boyle, Zero Waste Scotland


  • Sarah Lewis Associate Director – Architecture- Hamson Barron Smith
  • Stephen Boyle Strategic Programme Manager- Zero Waste Scotland
  • Karen RidgewellSenior Design Officer – Designing for a Changing Climate- Architecture and Design Scotland


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