Blacon High School benefits from net zero extension

27 August 2021

Students at Blacon High School are set to benefit from a £2.1 million extension which has been completed ready for the start of the autumn term.

The new two-storey building, funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Blacon High School, has achieved net zero carbon status as the building generates more energy than it consumes.

This is one of several projects that will help the Council achieve its priority of tackling the Climate Emergency and achieving its objective of the borough becoming carbon neutral by 2045 and the Council, as organisation, by 2030.

The new facility will allow the school to increase its capacity by 150 students to 750 and includes provision to support students with special education needs, a dining area and two dedicated rooms to support the creative curriculum on the ground floor. There are also six new classrooms located on the first floor and additional bicycle storage has been installed on site to encourage more pupils to cycle to and from school.

The building, which is one of the first projects to be supported by the Council's Climate Emergency capital funding, is powered from on-site and off-site renewable energy sources, including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof, with the remaining carbon balance offset to achieve net zero carbon status.

Building materials have been selected to ensure the extension is well insulated to help reduce heat loss and, in turn, the amount of energy needed to run the building.

The additional teaching block, which was designed and built by Pave Aways Building Contractors, has scored an A+ energy efficiency rating with a building emission rate of 0.08 kg CO2/m2 per year.

Headteacher Rachel Hudson said: "We are absolutely delighted to see the completion of this project, which will enable us to meet the demand and need for places within our local community.  This is testament to the belief and confidence in Blacon High School by all those involved.

"This outstanding facility will help us to support students to achieve the best outcomes in a high quality learning environment."

Councillor Bob Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "It's great to see the new building completed and ready to welcome students when they start back in September. The additional facilities will be a great asset, providing them with an ideal base for their learning so that they can achieve their best."

Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: "It's fantastic to see one of our new buildings achieving a net zero carbon status, something that will not only benefit the school, with lower running costs, but also the borough as we aim to reduce our emissions and become carbon neutral by 2045."

Pave Aways Managing Director Steven Owen said: "We are delighted to have achieved such a highly sustainable building that will benefit the students and the environment for years to come."

"Securing an A+ energy rating is always an achievement but is especially rewarding as it has been a challenging time for construction with the covid pandemic and material shortages. Reaching this very high standard of construction is a credit to our team and sub-contractors."

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