London’s high-performing Ashmount Primary School does far more than raise bright young minds—this carbon-negative school produces enough energy to provide heat and power to the nearby neighborhood. Designed by Penoyre & Prasad, the innovative building was built as part of a greater carbon-negative development on a former brownfield. The energy-efficient Ashmount Primary School earned a BREEAM Outstanding award and was recently recognized as one of London’s best architecture projects in the 2015 Royal Institute of British Architects awards.
The Ashmount Primary School is located in North London’s Crouch Hill Community Park, an ecologically rich landscape and community asset converted from a derelict piece of Metropolitan Open Land. The new buildings are optimized to maximize daylighting and views, while maintaining privacy and minimizing solar heat gain. Penoyre & Prasad achieves low energy and low carbon design targets by installing energy-efficient fixtures, the “e-stack” low-energy ventilation system with heat recovery, high levels of insulation, and construction materials that were at minimum 30% recycled and include low VOC elements and FSC-certified timber. At least 90% of the site waste was reused or recycled.
In addition to energy conservation, the school produces its own energy. On-site renewable energy sources and a gas-fired CHP plant provide heat and power to the building and landscape. Excess heat and energy can be exported to neighboring residential buildings. In winter, the school is heated with a biomass boiler. Rainwater and graywater are recycled and used for irrigation and flushing toilets.
Images via Penoyre & Prasad