Thomas Vale bets on rise of Passivhaus schools

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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Midlands contractor Thomas Vale and Architype architects have formed a joint venture to bid for design and build Passivhaus projects.

The partnership has just completed the UK’s first ever Passivhaus standard accredited primary schools for Wolverhampton City Council.

These were delivered an no additional capital cost to that of traditional construction techniques and the so-called ‘standardised schools’ concepts.

Thomas Vales believes the energy savings in building operation will convince local authorities to use the approach, which offers many benefits of standardised design, reduced procurement times and  energy savings of at least 80%.

Tony Hyde, group managing director said: “Standardised schools are proving more and more expensive, not only that, they distract away from the learning establishments own identity, the schools values and its visions.

“The design process to deliver a bespoke, environmentally friendly and cost effective solution can only be achieved through the stakeholder’s involvement in the design and conceptual phases of a project.

“Standardised ‘off-the-shelf’ designs do not give the ability for integration in to a project in order for its full potential to be realised.”

The partnership works alongside all members of the team, including pupils, staff, governors and parents to allow them to become fully engaged in shaping the design of their buildings and environment. This, together with ongoing engagement of young people in art projects throughout the construction phases, creates a dynamic and rewarding educational opportunity.

Jonathan Hines, Director, Architype added: “Passivhaus offers radically low energy consumption together with optimised comfort for occupants.

“We are convinced that designing to an energy target is a more logical and effective route to achieving carbon reductions that relying on carbon offsetting with micro renewables.

“In response to the challenge of the James Review, our Passivhaus Partnership offers ‘standardised’ yet individually unique, at a reduced cost delivered through an integrated BIMM process in partnership with all delivery team members, from concept to post-completion.”

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