Passivhaus Affiliate

Blackridge Nursery passes Passivhaus mark

Following Rocking Horse Nursery, Scotland now has two certified Passivhaus nurseries. The new West Lothian Council nursery, built by PHT member Morrison Construction, was handed over on schedule and within budget in January 2021. It achieved Passivhaus certification in February.

Blackridge Nursery, Image credit: Morrison Construction

Blackridge Early Years Centre provides up to 64 spaces for early learning and childcare eligible two to four-year-olds. The project includes a new 3G floodlit Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and dedicated parking and drop-off facilities. The project forms part of a £14 million investment programme in pre-school education in West Lothian between 2019 and 2021.

Key Stats

Completion: January 2021

Occupation: February 2021

Certification: February 2021

Project value: £1.9m

Treated Floor Area (TFA): 298m2

Construction type: Timber frame

Blackridge Nursery - Artists render


Passivhaus buildings offer excellent thermal comfort and good air quality all year round. It's hoped that the new build shall improve overall wellbeing for both children and staff.

Blackridge ELC is a fantastic new facility that will provide an ideal learning environment for local children. We welcome the Passivhaus accreditation, with the pioneering design delivering several potential benefits, such as reducing energy use and increasing comfort for staff and children. This nursery shows West Lothian Council’s commitment to achieving zero carbon targets and the climate change emergency declared by the Council in September 2019.

Cllr David Dodds, Executive Councillor for Education, West Lothian Council


Blackridge Nursery: Image credit, Morrison Construction


A twin nursery (identical in form and function) built to a traditional standard of construction was handed over to the council in November last year at St. Mary’s Primary School in Bathgate. It will enable direct comparative analysis between the two buildings. Extended post-occupancy evaluation is planned to monitor their performance from an energy, comfort, and environmental perspective.


As a business, we pride ourselves on driving forward innovative approaches to construction. The Blackridge project has been a fantastic opportunity to test the application of Passivhaus standards in an education setting, and we have learnt a lot from the process. I congratulate the team on their efforts and look forward to applying our new-found knowledge in lowering the carbon footprint of new educational buildings in Scotland.

Eddie Robertson, Managing Director, Morrison Construction



Standing seam/ timber cladding cavity 

U-value: 0.10 W/(m2K)


Suspended concrete slab

U-value: 0.095 W/(m2K)


Standing seam aluminium roof

U-value: 0.10 W/(m2K)

Blackridge Nursery, Image credit: Morrison Construction

One of the main challenges of the scheme related to the building’s size. As a small, single-storey structure it has a high external surface to floor area ratio, thereby increasing the opportunity for heat loss. Detailed design of the twin-wall timber frame construction while limiting connections breaching the insulation and avoiding thermal bridging was key and required good coordination between the design team and the supply chain.

Jamie Baxter, Wardell Armstrong

Key Team

Client: West Lothian Council/ Hub South East

Passivhaus designers: Scott Brownrigg

Main Contractor: Morrison Construction

Consultants (M&E, Environmental): WGM Consulting Engineers

Timber frame: Fleming

Structural Engineer: Wardell Armstrong

Passivhaus Certifier: Etude

Blackridge Nursery, Image credit: Morrison Construction


We’re delighted to have assisted our client in meeting progressive Scottish Government environmental targets, as well as helping influence next-generation design proposals for Scotland’s learning estate. This has been an excellent partnership project, with a forward-thinking client and a supply chain dedicated to the Passivhaus principles. We look forward to taking lessons from the design, construction and performance of this exciting facility onto future developments.

Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Operation’s Director

Further Information

Blackridge Nursery

Morrison Construction: Blackridge Childcare Centre achieves Passivhaus mark - 24 February 2021

Passivhaus for Educational Buildings Campaign

Passivhaus Schools & Educational Buildings

16th March 2021

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