Passivhaus Affiliate

Stebon Primary Passivhaus refurb to become the Capitals first Passivhaus school

Artists impression

Artists Impression of Stebon Primary School Refurb - Image credit: Rivington Street Studio

The £5 million project for the refurbishment of Stebon Primary School in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has begun construction. The Passivhaus school will be the first in London.

Work includes refurbishment of existing facilities, and construction of a new extension to the school which aims for an overall 65% reduction in carbon emissions per annum. It is intended that the new classroom block will be constructed as a Certified Passivhaus building. 

The new classroom block is flanked by brick walls which unites the new with the old school buildings in materiality. The brick is extended over the south façade to create a large overhang incorporating a brise soleil between floors.This provides vital shading to south facing classrooms in summer.

The benefits of superior indoor comfort a Passivhaus can provide, such as improved air indoor quality & increased daylight have been shown to make children more attentive and to improve learning.

Jeremy Iver and Joanna Franklin, co-heads of Stebon Primary School, said: “We wanted a school that was simple, environmentally-friendly and created a comfortable educational environment for the children. The Passivhaus design meets all of these needs and, in fact, exceeds them.”


Passivhaus in lieu of BREEAM

The environmental statement in the Design and Access document submit as part of the planning submission by Rivington Street Studio states that ‘as Passivhaus requirements are more onerous than those of BREEAM in terms of building fabric, the design team are looking to achieve Passivhaus certification in lieu of BREEAM ‘excellent’ requirements.’    

The Sustainability and Passivhaus report, produced by the main contractor Bouygues UK, states that in their experience a Passivhaus building will generally achieve at least 10 credits under BREEAM credit Ene01.

In order to provide a 20% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through on-site renewable energy generation as required by Tower Hamlets Core Strategy, the area of PV would need to be doubled. Though the roof area permits this scale of installation, the pursuance of a Passivhaus strategy is deemed to be a more valuable solution to reducing carbon emissions in terms of resource consumption and investment.

Issues such as water consumption, ecology or SUDS are not addressed in the Passivhaus system, and thus have to be considered in addition to Passivhaus concerns.


Expected project completion date is December 2014.


Key Details:

Client: London Borough ofTower Hamlets

Architect: Rivington Street Studio

Main Contractor: Bouygues UK

PH Consultants: Architype

M&E Enginners: Building Design Partnership

Structural Engineers: Barrett Mahony


Further Information:

Bouygues UK

14th March 2014

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