Skip to content

CIBSE is currently upgrading its IT systems to improve core customer functions and increase efficiency and effectiveness. This will mean some website services will be offline until Monday 25 July. Help

New Build Project of the Year (value up to £5m)

Bushbury Hill Primary School, Wolverhampton
Architype / E3 Consulting Engineers

Bushbury Hill Primary School BPA 2013 Winner

The brief for Bushbury Hill primary school was to design a standard one-form-entry school with a 30-place nursery and facilities for a local multi-agency support team.

The design embraces a low embodied carbon timber-frame construction, with a locally sourced brick cladding, linoleum and recycled tyre barrier matting floor finishes, and organic and non-toxic paints and stains.

The ventilation and heating strategy has been kept simple, integrating full mechanical ventilation heat recovery for winter operation with a simplified heating system run off one domestic boiler supplying heat when necessary to radiators.

The building has been built to an airtightness standard as required for Passivhaus accreditation, achieving an air pressure result of 0.53 ach@50pa, as opposed to UK building regulations of air pressure 10 ach@50pa. In summer, the building is predominantly naturally ventilated using openable windows, while in the winter, the occupied spaces are fully ventilated using thermal ventilation heat recovery system, with efficiency of 80%.

The kitchen supply and extract system has been completely redesigned with a runaround coil heat recovery system with an efficiency of 50%. Heat induction equipment, as opposed to gas, produces less heat during cooking and prevents the room from overheating.

The school was designed to Passivhaus standard within the allocated local authority budget. With no additional funds available for specific low-carbon and energy efficiency measures, this required a high degree of innovation in maintaining a high level of architectural quality while removing unnecessary complexities, ensuring that through each step of the design process, the building would ultimately do the hard work of achieving low-energy running costs and eliminating the need for expensive add-ons as energy reducing measures.


  • Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore – BDP Engineers, CPA architects and the Department of Education and Skills Ireland
  • Macmillan Palliative Care Unit, Antrim Area Hospital – Beattie Flanigan
  • Think Low Carbon Centre, Barnsley College, Barnsley – Jefferson Sheard Architects
  • Michael Baker Boat House, Worcester - Leeds Environmental Design Associates
  • Toffee Factory, Newcastle – Max Fordham