Oakmeadow Primary School is one of the first certified Passivhaus primary schools in the UK. Designed by Architype architects, the school has a lightweight, super insulated timber frame to achieve Passivhaus airtightness, with a simplified load bearing stud wall, wrapped by an additional layer of insulation created by Larson trusses. The services strategy integrates full MVHR for winter operation, retaining natural passive ventilation for summer day ventilation and night cooling.
Under Wolverhampton Council’s strict proviso that the Passivhaus school should cost no more than standard schools, the architects delivered the project on time and on budget. Early indications show outstanding performance and user comfort. As a result the architects are now working on other schools for the local authority.
A major contribution to the comfort of the occupants is the use of Troldtekt ceiling tiles in both classrooms and the sports hall. The tiles not only reduce reverberation time but offer high performance acoustic absorption in those areas, such as the teaching areas which need to be calm, studious and healthy and the play areas which, because of their hard surfaces, are traditionally very noisy.
Architype director Jonathan Hines commented, ‘Oakmeadow is one of two schools we have designed using Passivhaus principles to offer radically low energy consumption together with optimised comfort for children and staff,. We are convinced that designing to an energy target is the most logical and effective route to achieving carbon reductions. Troldtekt acoustic ceilings are one the products which have helped to meet our design and performance objectives - in this case optimising the acoustic environment using a natural and beautiful product.’
“The children are more alert in the afternoon and are more attentive because the air is so fresh and comfortable. The daylight is just fantastic and the spaces make a big difference. It has raised our spirits and there were whoops of delight on the first day - the children and teachers absolutely love it,” said Sara Morris, Headteacher at Oakmeadow School.