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Dartington Primary School: Sustainable school building study

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Dartington Primary School / Dartington, Devon / White Design Associates / Completion date December 2009 / Predicted annual CO2 emissions Not available

Dartington has an unusual site plan, with single-storey classrooms in four clusters of individual ‘pods.’ Each classroom has a pitched roof with north-facing clerestory and a south-facing PV array. Solid timber panel construction, with wood fibre insulation and sweet chestnut cladding, minimises the use of concrete and achieves low U-values (walls 0.19, ceilings 0.17, floors 0.20W/m2K) despite the large envelope.

Double-glazed windows are used throughout the school because triple glazing was too expensive. A typical classroom pod has a daylight factor of 4.4 per cent.

The buildings will have mixed-mode ventilation - heat recovery in winter and natural ventilation in summer. All joints are taped to ensure the envelope is as airtight as possible, but an airtightness test has not yet been performed. Air-source heat pumps (ASHP), powered by the PVs, will supply underfloor heating at 35°C. The PVs will also power the lighting.

Rainwater 'Portholes'

Rainwater ‘Portholes’

The site has been designed with a sustainable drainage system, which includes swales, reed beds and ponds to filter greywater. Localised rainwater cisterns will supply approximately 40 per cent of the required water.

  • To see the original magazine article, which has an annotated diagram, click here
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