Passivhaus Affiliate

Hackbridge Primary aims for UK's 1st Passivhaus Plus school

Hackbridge Primary School is striving to meet the Passivhaus Plus standard - to become the first school in the UK to meet the criteria. The £9M scheme, designed by PHT Patron member Architype  - no stranger to delivering Passivhaus schools, is nestled within the London Borough of Sutton. The borough contains Metropolitan Open Land, several precedents in innovative low-impact construction, and champions a 'One Planet Sutton' living. The new school & nursery is being built in meadow land adjacent to Bedzed. 

Hackbridge Primary School © Architype


The Passivhaus Plus standard has been adopted in some way to befit its location next to the Bedzed scheme in the hope that is will continue the local theme of flagship, pioneering sustainable development.

Jessica Taylor, Architype


Having achieved a 70% reduction of total energy consumption with Wilkinson Primary School, a Passivhaus project in 2014, Archtype's third generation of Passivhaus Schools are aiming to effectively meet net-zero carbon targets. This is to be achieved by combining the Passivhaus levels of energy-efficiency with an addition of renewables to generate as much energy as the building consumes through-out the year. 


Energy Consumption in Architype Passivhaus Schools © Architype


Predicted Energy Performance

Thermal Energy Demand (≤15kWh/m².yr)


Thermal Energy Load (≤10W/m²)


PER (Demand ≤45kWh/m2.yr) 

(Generation ≥60kWh/m2.yr)

Demand = 54kWh/m2.yr

Generation = 61kWh/m2.yr

The renewables used on the school include both an extensive photovoltaic array in combination with an interseasonal ground source heat pump with bore holes, using the car park as a collector.

Due to its sensitive ecological setting the project has involved extensive ecological aspects including the de-canalisation of an old culvert system that has been returned to swales, wild flower gardens, Sustainable Drainage Systems utilising swales and ponds and a biodiverse green roof under the PV array.

The design of this primary school and nursery follows a low embodied carbon philosophy with timber materials throughout, and the concrete ground floor slab has a high level of Ground Granulated Blastfurnace slag (GGBs) to reduce carbon impact. On top of this sits a timber frame, with OSB fins framing out the main columns and beams forming a duvet zone of insulation around the structure.

Hackbridge Primary was a keynote zero-carbon case study at the recent UK Passivhaus Conference 2018 'Passivhaus and the road to zero carbon'. 

For Architype this project is a continuation of their successful work on school projects. Stebon in the London context, and the Enterprise Centre at UEA are both boundary-pushing examples of innovation.


We have tried to taken what we have learned on these projects and take them further with the inclusion of renewables to try and achieve the Passivhaus Plus standard and a notional carbon zero target (total demand vs total generation) required by planning.


Hackbridge Primary School duvet layer © Architype

Key Stats

Number of Occupants: approx. 244
Treated Floor Area: 1510m²
Construction: Timber Frame
Project cost: approx. £9m
Construction Start Date: June 2017

Key Team

Project Owner/Client: Sutton Borough Council
Architect: Architype
M&E Design:  Elementa Consulting
Certifier: WARM
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers, Churchmans
Landscape Architects
Contractor: Lakehouse

Hackbridge Primary School timber frame © Architype


Architype are simultaneously working on Sutton Secondary school which aims to scale up their educational Passivhaus efforts. The £35m scheme is over 10,000m2 hoping to accommodate approximately 1,300 pupils.

Further information

Hackbridge Primary School at the UK Passivhaus Conference 2018


What is Passivhaus Plus?

Passivhaus Schools

All graphs and images © Architype.


Never miss UK Passivhaus news by joining the Passivhaus Trust mailing list                                                                                              Follow us on twitter @PassivhausTrust


11th December 2018

< Back To News