Net Zero Eco-Library Opens at St John’s Primary School

Wednesday 15 July 2015 

A brand new eco-building has been opened at St John’s Primary School in Basingstoke, Hampshire. The radically efficient “Schoolhaus” building will be used as a library for the children as well as a community space for local residents.

The environmentally-friendly Schoolhaus building was constructed offsite, eliminating the majority of the waste associated with traditional construction practices and the clean energy generated by the fully-integrated solar PV roof will create excess energy that will be used by the rest of the school. The building is also highly insulated, keeping it cool in the summer and warm during the winter months and incorporates LED lighting to further reduce energy usage.

The Schoolhaus was built by Net Zero Buildings, which has developed numerous multi-award-winning low-energy education buildings.

The new building is the result of a collective effort – a dedicated working group of school representatives, governors and parents who took on the challenge of funding and managing the project at the beginning of 2014.

The project was first conceived two years ago when the PTA agreed that the children desperately needed an improved library facility due to their chronic space shortage and plans for the new eco-building were approved under the school improvement plan. Raising funds for the building was no mean feat and presented a huge challenge for all involved. 50 percent was raised through external grants including The Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF) with the remainder being met by the school budget, fundraising by the PTA and a generous contribution from the Diocese.

Headteacher of St John’s C of E Primary School, Miss Hayley Clayton, said “Our fabulous new eco-building will be a buzzing hub for education, fun and social activities, not just for our children but also for the local community. The facility will be used by all ages, from the local nursery and toddler groups from our school community, to residents from the nearby care home.

“As the only school in the area to create such a facility, we’re proud to be leading the way in reducing our carbon footprint whilst providing our children and local community with such a fantastic new resource. We would like to welcome individuals, families and local groups to visit our wonderful new eco-building – please get in touch and come along to explore!”

Managing Director of Net Zero Buildings, Peter Johnston, said “We are excited about the new eco-library at St John’s Primary as it represents the first of a new design in Schoolhaus buildings, utilising more glass and light, with more solar shading. As with all of our completed Schoolhaus projects, the building incorporates energy efficiency features such as heat recovery, super efficient insulation, LED lighting, controls and critically a full solar PV system. The roof will provide for the energy needs of the new library as well as the main school building which will benefit from the excess of generated electricity. The net result will be frugally low energy costs plus an income for the school for the next 20 years.

“It has also been an enjoyable project to work on as the school brought an open-mindedness to the design and construction which in turn allowed us to develop a building that is at the forefront of energy efficiency performance.”