Landmark Blackridge nursery achieves Passivhaus certification

THE £1.5 million Early Learning and Childcare centre in Blackridge, West Lothian, has become the first local authority educational facility in Scotland to be awarded official Passivhaus certification.

The nursery, delivered for West Lothian Council by hub South East and main contractor Morrison Construction, has been handed over on schedule and within budget.

The Passivhaus certification follows a quality assurance process verified via independent testing and confirms that the building meets all the criteria defined by the Passivhaus Institute. Passivhaus buildings are designed to offer enhanced thermal comfort and good air quality. Their high energy efficiency reduces both energy costs and emissions.

An identical non-Passivhaus facility was handed over to the council in November last year at St. Mary’s Primary School in Bathgate. This will enable groundbreaking direct comparison of Passivhaus buildings against a traditional standard of construction.

The Blackridge Early Years Centre building provides up to 64 spaces for early learning and childcare. The project includes a 3G floodlit games area and dedicated parking and drop-off facilities.

Roddy Clark, hub South East’s operation’s director, said, “We’re incredibly proud to have delivered another successful learning space in partnership with West Lothian Council. As the first local authority Passivhaus educational building in the country, this is further demonstrable evidence of hub South East’s capacity for quality, innovation and sustainability.

“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.”

Eddie Robertson, MD of Morrison Construction Building Central, added, “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.”