Optimizing Learning in Energy Efficient Welsh Schools

Thanks to WSP’s sustainable designs, primary school students and teachers in Wales were treated to a new and improved learning environment. Two primary schools in Carmarthenshire have been designed and built according to Passivhaus, the world’s most rigorous energy and comfort standard.

As Passivhaus buildings, Trimsaran and Parc y Tywyn provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and providing fresh air. The fresh air flowing through the schools and into the bright, engaging classrooms creates a stimulating environment that keeps students focused on their learning. The precise standards posed a challenge for our engineers, but we were able to capture and reuse heat generated by pupils and staff, affectionately known as ‘kiddywatts’.

Our designs were developed for the Welsh 21st Century Schools Programme, and to meet Carmarthenshire’s ambitions for a low-energy fabric-first approach but they also help the Welsh government meet the goals of its 2015 Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. By following the Passivhaus guidelines, we locked quality into the buildings so that they continue to perform to the highest standard over the years. At the same time, considerable savings are being made through low running costs, which will directly benefit the children’s education, now and in the future.

Construction waste diverted from landfill
100% 100%
Lower energy bills reported by Passivhaus schools compared to conventional school buildings
80% 80%
Of supply chain spending was in Wales, with 99% of that on Welsh SMEs.
89% 89%

We are thrilled that the schools have been well-received. Trimsaran head teacher Sharon Owen said that her school “is spacious, light and airy and has improved pupils' pride and self-esteem. The temperature is constant and so pupils don’t overheat, thus improving concentration levels.”

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Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 as part of a new sustainable development agenda. We believe that WSP has an important role to play in contributing to achieving these goals. Here are the SDGs associated with this project: