Exeter’s Greenest school in top ten per cent for energy efficiency
The Exeter eco-school which received a Royal opening last week is in the top 10 per cent of schools nationally for energy efficiency, according to scientists.
Scientists at the University of Exeter’s Centre for Energy and the Environment have been studying the first year of operation of Montgomery Primary School in St Thomas.
They say the school uses less than a third of the energy of a typical school which puts it in the top 10 per cent of schools nationally for energy efficiency.
The Earl of Wessex officially opened the school last week and described it as a ‘fantastic and brilliant’ school.
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The Centre for Energy and the Environment was closely involved in the design of the school with Devon County Council.
It says the school has just been shown to be zero carbon in use over its first year of operation.
The scientists say the design performance of the school significantly exceeds the proposed “zero carbon” regulations that are not due to be implemented in this country until 2019 at the earliest.
This puts it firmly at the forefront of low carbon building design nationally.
Dan Lash from the Centre said: “A common failure of modern buildings is that they consume much more energy in practice then predicted during the design process.
“The CEE has monitored the performance the school since it opened. After a year of occupation, it can be seen that the design has been hugely successful.
“The energy consumed by the school is very close to the predicted consumption, using less than a third of a typical school, and putting it in the top 10% of schools in terms of energy efficiency.
“In addition, the energy generated by the solar panels actually exceeded the energy demand of the school, making it a net exporter of energy.
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the building has resulted in a modern, comfortable and resilient facility for the pupils and staff of the school, which acts as a learning tool for both pupils and members of the community.”
The Earl of Wessex spent over an hour touring the building and chatting to pupils, staff, parents and governors.
He said: “It’s a fantastic and brilliant school.”
And he told the children: “Make the most of it and have fun.”
The school is one of the Greenest buildings in the UK and generates all its own electricity – and a surplus – from an array of solar panels on the roof.
The innovative, air-tight Passivhaus design means it doesn’t need a boiler to provide heating.
For most of the time, the building is warmed by the body heat of pupils and staff and the thick insulation keeps it cool in summer and warm in winter.
Montgomery is believed to be the first school in Europe to be both Passivhaus and zero-carbon.