green building, green design, sustainable design, eco design, alternative energy, solar energy, photovoltaic panels, energy counter, Westborough Primary School, Cottrell & Vermeulen Architects, United Kingdom, reduced carbon emissions

Commissioned by the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Governors of Westborough Primary School, the £1.35m project was completed earlier this year. Conceived as an experiment in carbon reduction and green building, the project continues to stand as an excellent model of sustainable renovation not only for other schools in the United Kingdom but also for the students.

Space heating is derived from a biomass boiler and the building’s insulation was increased to provide additional thermal efficiency. A handy energy savings counter displayed on the school’s wall demonstrates how much energy the solar cells generate, how much energy is consumed at any given time, what kind of carbon emissions are saved, and how many oak trees are required to absorb the carbon being emitted. This small sign is more than a quaint gesture. Instead, children are empowered with the knowledge of how their energy consumption impacts their environment.

+ Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture

All images via Anthony Coleman