Low Carbon

Time: 15:45 - 16:45

Date: Day 1


UK’s First Passivhaus EnerPHit (deep energy retrofit) School

Speakers: Sarah Lewis, Alistair Kidd & Mangus Dowie

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.

Climate emergency: responding to a call for action for Edinburgh’s schools

Speakers: Jonathan Hines & Ann-Marie Fallon

What does it take to deliver an excellent school?

In 2018 Architype embarked on a journey of post occupancy evaluation of Scottish schools, to assess existing stock against monetary, sustainability and academic metrics. We found that too often buildings were running inefficiently, creating underused leaky buildings that were costing upwards of £200,000 every year in energy bills alone. We knew that we could do better. 

Under the new Scottish Futures Trust metrics, schools will be assessed on long-lasting efficiency, achieving 67kWh/m2 over 25 years. With 40% of UK buildings not running as efficiently as designed, Passivhaus is the only standard that guarantees the performance that is promised at design stage. 

In this presentation, Jonathan and Ann-Marie will set out how Architype is creating the schools of the future with Currie Community High School and Maybury Primary School in Edinburgh, as well as challenging Scotland’s supply chain to meet the stringent requirements of Passivhaus, creating high quality, robust buildings that last.

These new schools will be a flagship for new educational pedagogy, demanding a re-think of how and where students learn. Through Passivhaus they will achieve net zero-carbon in use as well as healthy learning spaces informed by significant studies into biophilia, classroom temperature and air quality.

They will explore new methodologies for success, how to engage a technical team and the role of an engaged client who is involved in every stage of design. The team will also share examples of their dynamic ‘performance checklist’ that can be used by designers and teachers alike to engage in all stages of school delivery.

Ann-Marie and Jonathan will share their expertise through live case studies, showing how to create ideal environments for teaching and shared community spaces, bringing value to local residents all year round and creating long-lasting sustainable facilities for Scotland.



  • John BrennanJohn Brennan Senior Lecturer in Environmental Design - Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

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