Excitement builds as new Frenchay Primary School nears completion

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Children and staff join cabinet members at the new school building.

Even as staff and students look forward to the summer holidays, a group from Frenchay Church of England Primary School have visited the site of their brand new facilities to take a last peek before building work is completed over the break. They will move in at the start of the new school year in September.

The school is a new build and enlargement on part of the site of the former Frenchay Hospital. It will have state of the art facilities and, as temperature records have tumbled recently, the visitors were particularly keen to see and learn about the environmental performance of their new building, which are designed to Passivhaus standards of environmental performance, meaning they will have a very low carbon impact on the environment.

Designed and project managed by the council, the new £11million Frenchay CofE Primary School is the first Passivhaus school in South Gloucestershire.

Building work began in June 2021 and the construction will deliver new energy efficient, low impact facilities. Key features of the design include high levels of insulation, triple glazing, low energy LED lighting, heating provided by air-source heat pumps and recycling of heat through a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, which also ensures good air quality throughout the school.

When complete the school will use electricity only, require no fossil fuel consumption on site and generate its own zero carbon energy through Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, with any surplus energy feeding into the national grid.

This brand new facility, will provide accommodation for a larger number of pupils than the current school with capacity for 420 pupils to respond to increased demand in the area.
Frenchay CofE Primary School Headteacher, Katherine Marks, said: “My staff and I are so excited about starting the new school year in this brand new building. The pupils who visited the site were fascinated to see how the school is coming together, layer by layer, as well as to meet some of the builders and hearing from them how they are making our new school.”

South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Members with responsibility for Schools and for Corporate Resources, Cllrs Erica Williams and Ben Burton, joined Leader, Toby Savage, and the staff and pupils on the recent tour and said: “This is exciting for us, because we are seeing the benefits of our decision making, to provide the best possible start in life for children in South Gloucestershire, as well as to make a real difference on response to the Climate Emergency, are coming together.

“We reassessed the original design for the new school in 2020 after the Council declared a Climate Emergency. We have invested £800,000 from our Climate Emergency Fund into the project and have been able to improve that design and invest in new technologies and building techniques to deliver what promises to be an excellent new school for these pupils, but something that will benefit them and generations to come.”

Rob Shipp, Construction Manager at BAM, the developer which is delivering the project, said: “This is a fantastic, local scheme for BAM and one that we are proud to be delivering for South Gloucestershire Council. The new Passivhaus school is extremely efficient and is constructed to high quality standards to meet the rigorous Passivhaus criteria. This building will be a huge asset to the area.”