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New Perth school may be first primary in Scotland with Passivhaus energy efficiency

Perth school energy efficiency
How the new school at North Muirton will look.

A new school in Perth could be the first primary school in Scotland built to Passivhaus Standard energy efficiency.

The £16.5 million building replacing North Muirton and Balhousie primary schools will be created on the site of North Muirton Primary School.

Builder Robertson Construction Tayside released a new image and more detail of what the school in Uist Place will be like, after planning permission was granted last Wednesday.

Passivhaus Standard sees buildings designed and constructed with materials which allows them to be heated or cooled using very little energy, meaning energy consumption will be reduced by 60% to 80% in the new school, also aided by solar panels on the roof.

The new school will be built on the site of the existing North Muirton Primary School.

For up to 500 pupils, the new school will have 16 classrooms – with a further two for future expansion – ASN provision, a multi-use hall, nursery accommodation and a multi-use games area (Muga) pitch for both school and community use.

It will also boast an outdoor activity trail and sheltered outdoor classroom.

Both existing schools, which are rated as being in poor condition, will remain in operation until the new one is complete in early 2023.

Balhousie Primary School.
North Muirton Primary School.

While other Passivhaus educational projects are in the pipeline, it is hoped that the new Perth school will be the first primary certified to the standard.

Perth and Kinross Council lifelong learning convener Caroline Shiers said: “This is a very exciting development as part of the council’s work to transform the school estate in Perth and Kinross.

Perth school energy efficiency
Councillor Caroline Shiers.

“We aim through this project to both enhance education provision for children in the north of Perth but also support a more environmentally friendly learning and teaching environment – as one of the first Passivhaus primary schools to be built in Scotland.”

Zero carbon

Perth and Kinross Council is working towards a zero carbon agenda, and interim chief executive Barbara Renton said: “We want to ensure that our buildings, from offices to schools, are energy efficient, cost-effective to run and maintain, and contribute to an improved environment.

“Using the Passivhaus Standard for the new primary school in north Perth enables us to address all three areas at once through carbon reduction being built into the design and construction process.”

We are continually seeking new ways in which to make positive contributions to the built environment and its users.”

Elliot Robertson of Robertson Construction Tayside

Robertson Construction Tayside is delivering the school on behalf of hub East Central, with Architype as lead consultant and Passivhaus designer.

Elliot Robertson, chief executive officer, said: “As part of our commitment to be a responsible business, we are continually seeking new ways in which to make positive contributions to the built environment and its users.

“As the partner of choice in the delivery of the first Scottish Passivhaus primary school, we are confident that this new school will contribute significantly to protecting the environment while creating a facility the entire community can be proud of, which will enhance learning experiences and support and encourage attainment.”

An artist’s impression of the new school.

Ann-Marie Fallon, associate director and Passivhaus designer, Architype, said: “We have been delighted to be involved in designing Scotland’s first Passivhaus primary school in a year when Scotland is on the international map hosting COP26.”

Preparatory works are to begin in the summer, when the nursery building at North Muirton Primary School will be removed to create access for the main works starting in September.

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