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Harris Academy


Location Client Cost Size Completion
London London Borough of Sutton £40m 10,625 sqm July 2019

Project details

Harris Academy Sutton is the UK’s first Passivhaus secondary school and the largest Passivhaus school in the UK. The school forms part of Sutton’s masterplan for the London Cancer Hub, a world-leading life science campus. A four storey, “MassivHaus” with an engineered timber superstructure to reduce the embodied carbon of the construction, the school is six form entry and accommodates 1,275 students from ages 11-18 and 95 staff, setting new standards for energy efficiency and comfort. Heating bills are estimated to be 10% of a similarly sized conventionally constructed school. Collaborating with Architype, the design team undertook extensive modelling to optimise the building massing and facade, ensuring teaching spaces are full of light and inspiring. The detailed analysis considered the deep brise-soleil and included future weather years to ensure the adopted proposals could respond to climate change.

Buildings services installations are simple and pared back. A mixed mode ventilation approach is adopted with manually opening windows and demand controlled mechanical ventilation. An innovative peak loop cooling strategy satisfies the summertime temperature and acoustic requirements of the Building Bulletins, whilst staying within the PassivHaus Primary Energy limit of 120kW/m²/year.  Each occupied room is served with a tiny 500W radiator and the whole school is heated by a couple of domestic sized wall hung condensing boilers.

Our students and staff were hugely excited to move into our new building…It really is a spectacular learning environment where our students will thrive. I am also delighted that we are the country’s first Passivhaus standard secondary school and our whole school community is proud that we are leading the way when it comes to the environment.

James Fisher Harris Academy Principal

Integrated services

Building Services Engineering, Lighting, Sustainability, BREEAM, Acoustics