Passivhaus Affiliate

Passivhaus site visit: Oakmeadow Primary School

Date: 9th September Time: 12:30-15:00
Location: Wolverhampton Cost: FREE


After receiving the commission to design Oakmeadow Primary School (2,400sqm: 420 children), Architype promoted the idea to Wolverhampton City Council of advancing to the higher energy standard of passivhaus. The Council enthusiastically endorsed this approach, with the proviso that it should not affect the (very tight) programme or the (fixed) budget.The project was commissioned in December 2009, submitted for planning in April 2010, commenced on site in September 2010, and is due for completion in October 2011.

Designing and constructing to Passivhaus within a standard budget and no extra funding has been a huge challenge - but has been achieved. Key factors that have helped this to be achieved will be described in more detail on the visit.

The construction approach is based on a lightweight well insulated timber frame approach, and is taken a step further to reduce thermal bridging and achieve passivhaus airtightness, with a simplified load bearing stud wall (instead of structural I-beam) which is wrapped by an additional layer of insulation created by Larson trusses.

The services strategy is developed to integrate full MVHR for winter operation and reduce/simplify the heating system, but retains natural passive ventilation for summer day ventilation and night cooling. Particular attention was given to the design of windows and doors to balance the additional costs of 0.8 U-values, and achieve the required daylighting and levels of ventilation.

Site visit Agenda

12:30 Registration and buffet Lunch

13:00  Designing and constructing a Passivhaus school - Jonathan Hines (Architype)

13:15  Site visit to Oakmeadow Primary school

         Followed by Q/A session with the design & operational team:

-       Jonathan Hines, Architect (Architype)

-       John Hickman, Matt Wisdom & Kevin Zamur of Thomas Vale

15:00  Close


Places are limited to 15 ONLY on a first come first served basis.

To book a place and for further information please contact Nidhi Shah at

Oakmeadow Primary school

Oakmeadow Primary school, Lichfield Road view (image: Architype)

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