Two Rivers CofE Primary School

Constructing Excellence

This unique collaboration between ISG, Department for Education (DfE), Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Local Authority and Futura Learning Partnership saw the design and construction of a new Passivhaus pathfinder scheme at Two Rivers CofE Primary School in Bristol. As part of its commitment to tackle the climate emergency, BANES contributed additional funding to raise the specification of the school to Passivhaus Plus standard, one of the most rigorous low-energy design standards.

Two Rivers is the only Passivhaus DfE project that has moved beyond the feasibility phase and has become a benchmark for future Passivhaus school commission opportunities. The integrated team have collectively developed key lessons learnt, delivering findings to the DfE and BANES.

ISG are working collaboratively with DfE to develop and share knowledge of Passivhaus principles to establish whether an affordable Passivhaus School model can be used to provide an alternative route to achieving the Governments Carbon Targets and Wider Sustainability Agenda. Six months prior to tender, ISG engaged expert Passivhaus consultants, Max Fordham, architects, Hatcher Prichard, and M&E consultants, Hydrock for a series of collaborative workshops to develop a DfE standard Output Specification (OS) compliant school, fulfilling the stringent certification requirements to achieve the standard for the Passivhaus Planning Package.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. Collaboration from project inception: ISG’s engagement of the integrated design team 6 months prior to tender contributed to successful Passivhaus accreditation. First DfE Passivhaus project to be taken beyond feasibility.
  2. Upskilling supply chain: Over 500 hours of training delivered to our supply chain, successfully upskilling our supply chain partners on Passivhaus accreditation. Lessons learnt from Two Rivers will influence further DfE school design.
  3. Collaborative culture: Design, extensive public consultation and planning permission undertaken and successfully achieved during the Covid-19 pandemic. Collaboration between ISG, stakeholders, the integrated design team, and supply chain partners was key to successfully achieving air tightness of 0.391m3/h/m3.