Dartington Primary School, Devon

Project: Dartington Primary School, Devon

Nu-Heat’s integrated renewables skills have been utilized in the development of a brand new eco-school in Dartington, Devon, where the installation of air source heat pumps (ASHP), solar thermal and underfloor heating (UFH) by Nu-Heat registered installer Mike Geis has helped the school towards its aim of being the first zero carbon primary school in Great Britain. The school was designed by White Design after discussions with everyone involved including pupils, teachers and the community.

The parameters were to use modern construction methods and natural materials. Thorough insulation measures include wood fibre insulation, taping of joints and energy efficient double-glazed windows with insulating argon gas between the panes. Heating is based around Nu-Heat’s NIBE 2025 ASHP. There are four clusters of classrooms with varying integration of products: two clusters have one ASHP with UFH, one cluster has solar with UFH and the largest cluster has two ASHP with UFH.

All of the heat pumps are linked to the hot water supply. Adding to the energy efficiency of the building is the fact that the ASHP are powered by zero carbon photovoltaic panels. The school was only recently opened so energy efficiency data is not yet available, but with precise heat loss calculations, exceptional insulation methods and correct heat pump sizing, early indications are good. The school won the sustainability category of the Devon Building Control Partnership Quality and Sustainability Awards 2010.