As part of the Sunday excursion at the 2013 International Passivhaus Conference my tour visited four projects including this very nice passivhaus school complex.
The school was designed by Baufrösche Architekten (Building Frogs Architects) and completed in 2010 at a cost of €17m. The total treated floor area (TFA) by Passivhaus methodology (useful internal area) is 5,540m2.
The primary school building is simple but striking with the fresh spring leaves contrasting with the red render.
The gabion basket rain screen was not to my eco-minimal taste! The Architect justified the high cost on the grounds of graffiti resistance which I thought showed a lack of imagination.The tour group came up with lots of ideas for creative graffiti that would be far too costly to remove! However the kids are clearly well behaved and I didn’t even spot any crisp packets stuffed into the baskets.
Sturdy louvres simply fixed to the window frame face for rain and burglar protection on the night vent windows. Interior shot to follow.
More simple uncluttered details and rich colour and texture without pandering to an assumed children’s palette of primary colours.
The third building in the complex is the sports hall which I suspect is where a lot of the budget went. It is partly under ground and has a sports pitch on the roof – an afterthought nicely integrated. The steps have wooden seats in the middle.
Very simple solution to create thermal bridge free supports for the fencing round the sports pitch on the roof. Pre-cast mass concrete blocks avoid the need for penetrations through the waterproof membrane or insulation and double as seating.
View from the sports hall roof looking towards the kindergarten.
Interesting door threshold detail into the sports hall fabricated from stainless steel sheet with what looked like a timber thermal break! Could use Purenit, Compacfoam or Accoya?
Stepping back this is the door.
Inside the sports hall, partly sunk into the ground.
Sorry but I do like concrete! You can just see the small radiant panel heaters in the dropped ceiling between the beams. It is a big span and there is a games pitch above!
The planed Douglas Fir cladding on the kindergarten was much admired.
The Architects said the Douglas Fir was untreated but it did look very bright even allowing for it being protected by overhangs. Lovely window detailing.
The exterior cladding detail continues indoors in the entrance area where fire risk was considered acceptable due to escape distances.
Moving inside, the main school stairs were the idea of the Architect’s children who were fans of Harry Potter rather than Alvar Aalto.
I loved this seat alcove with digital printed wallpaper from the internet.
Classroom with mechanical vent, single small radiator and acoustic ceiling.
The windows in the same classroom with single side hung night vent window that opens to 90 degrees and external shading. Night ventilation is single sided with no overflow to the atrium.
The mechanical vent, heating and water feeds to classrooms were exposed. The ventilation is controlled by dampers activated by PIR occupancy sensors with supply and extract to each classroom. I must say that I prefer the simpler uncontrolled cascade approach that we developed for the Wolverhampton and Leeds Passivhaus schools with E3 consulting engineers (described in the video at the bottom of this page). I do like the exposed ducts which would be even nicer without the dampers.
Lots of skylight but this requires external blinds to reduce overheating. The blinds were open and I didn’t ask if they are translucent or opaque.