Kier awarded £65m Scottish Passivhaus school project

Kier awarded Passivhaus school
Breaking ground at the new school: (l-r) Richard Cairns (Kier), Phil McDowell (Kier), Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Jenny Hutchison (head teacher), Richard Long (Scottish Futures Trust)

Kier has been appointed by the City of Edinburgh Council to deliver a new secondary school built to Passivhaus standards.

Energy usage at the Currie Community High School will be reduced by 70% compared with a traditional school build. Completion is expected in early 2025.

Currie will be one of the first schools in Scotland built to the stringent energy-efficient standards. Passivhaus will also ensure better air quality, as well as advanced insulation and greater airtightness.

Kier Construction North and Scotland regional director Phil McDowell said: “This is a really unique project, which not only creates an outstanding new school, but also aligns to the council’s net-zero targets.”

The project builds on previous Passivhaus work completed by Kier, including a leisure centre for Exeter City Council that won a CIOB award.

The 1,000-place community high school will have three floors of teaching blocks, sport and leisure facilities, a pool and cafe. There will also be a community hub, outdoor informal play spaces, sensory garden, and public allotments.

The school project was procured through the Crown Commercial Services framework. It is one of the projects in the first phase of the Scottish government’s £2bn Learning Estates Investment Programme, managed by the Scottish Futures Trust.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place this morning (20 Jan), attended by Shirley-Anne Somerville, cabinet secretary for education, and representatives from the council, Scottish Futures Trust, the school and Kier.

Somerville said the “inspiring” project would “benefit generations to come”.

Faithful+Gould was appointed to provide project management and full multi-disciplinary design team services to City of Edinburgh Council.

Architype has been appointed as architect, Passivhaus designer, interior designer and the client’s information manager.

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