Robertson to build Passivhaus primary school in Perth

PERTH & Kinross Council has approved plans for a new Passivhaus standard primary school, to be built in north Perth.

Robertson Construction Tayside will build the school, which will replace both the current North Muirton and Balhousie primaries, on behalf of hub East Central with Architype acting as both lead consultant and Passivhaus designer.

The new school, to be built on the site of the current North Muirton Primary, will have capacity for 500 pupils and feature a nursery and additional support needs (ASN) provision, each with their own dedicated outdoor space.

Due for completion in early 2023, both original schools will remain in operation until that time.

The new school has been tipped to deliver a 60-80% reduction in energy consumption.  The Passivhaus standard will be achieved through the design and build phase, and selection of materials.

Elliot Robertson, chief executive officer, Robertson Group, said, “As part of our commitment to be a responsible business, we are continually seeking new ways in which to make positive contributions to the built environment and its users. As the partner of choice in the delivery of the first Scottish Passivhaus primary school, we are confident that this new school will contribute significantly to protecting the environment while creating a facility the entire community can be proud of, which will enhance learning experiences and support and encourage attainment.”

The designs were considered following consultation with the local community and will provide facilities including 16 classrooms, with a further two available for future school expansion, study rooms, a multi-use hall, and multi-use games area (MUGA) pitch for both school and community use. Solar panels will be fitted to the roof.

Ann-Marie Fallon, associate director and Passivhaus designer at Architype, added, “We have been delighted to be involved in designing Scotland’s first Passivhaus primary school in a year when Scotland is on the international map hosting COP26. Full credit should go to Perth & Kinross Council and Robertson for committing with us to building forward better. This is real evidence of clients and contractors going beyond minimum building requirements to provide quality assured comfort and performance over the building’s life, providing a beautiful and exciting new school for the community, as well as being a catalyst for educational change across Scotland.”

Many existing pedestrian paths that connect the school with the neighbouring area are being retained to encourage active travel through walking and cycling to school. The school will also feature an outdoor activity trail and sheltered classroom for both informal self-guided play and programmed outdoor learning.

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, commented, “It is great to see this project moving forward and it builds on our strategic partnership with Perth and Kinross Council which has so far successfully delivered six new schools across the region since 2015. The Passivhaus standard places the new school at the forefront of sustainable building for education and will serve the community for many years to come.”

Preparatory works will start this summer with the removal of the nursery building at the existing North Muirton Primary School to create access to the site for the main works to commence in September.