Go-ahead given for Passivhaus high school

Image credit: Architype/Dalgety Design

The new Currie Community High School will be the first Passivhaus-designed high school in the Scotland. The Passivhaus energy standard reduces the amount of energy needed for heating by up to 90%. It also lowers the total amount of energy used by around 70% and minimises carbon emissions. The new school is designed to support Edinburgh’s aim of net zero emissions by 2030.

Construction is expected to start on the school in the summer and be completed in 2024.

At the heart of the new school plans are five core elements: education, inclusion, outdoor learning and sustainability, digital learning and community access. The school will have a series of learning zones for pupils with breakout areas including space dedicated to science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) over three levels, with dual-teaching classrooms, science labs, technician areas and a learning plaza.

Jenny Hutchison, Currie Community High School head teacher, said: “We’re are incredibly excited about what our new school has to offer as a learning and community campus.  As the opening of our new school draws ever nearer, there is an amazing energy around curriculum development and how we ensure that young people develop the skills to be 21st century ready.

“As the first Passivhaus high school in Scotland, we are committed to energy efficiency for the benefits of our young people and community.  The opportunities for intergenerational learning are endless with transformational learning spaces both inside the building and out.

“We are certainly paving the way for an innovative and educational experience for all where young people strongly influence their future and make valuable contributions to the world around them.”

Councillor Neil Gardiner, planning convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I welcome the decision taken today in approving the planning application for the new Currie Community High School. This will provide the community with a state-of-the-art sustainable high school, sports and community facilities which will meet both future educational and environmental needs.

“It’s great to see such a strong emphasis on outdoor learning with the creation of a special terrace and how the outdoor spaces will promote sustainability for the school and local community.”

Councillor Ian Perry, education, children and families convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The pioneering designs that have been approved today really are the blueprint for the schools of the future. There are many innovative elements to the plans with energy efficiency at its centre. This will make the new campus the first high school in Scotland to meet Passivhaus standards and supports Edinburgh’s aim of net zero emissions by 2030. The new Currie Community High School will provide a first-class learning environment and an exciting, inspirational and creative hub for the whole community.”

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