Hoval boosts sustainability

A new building for Bowbridge Primary School in Newark will incorporate a range of sustainability features including a Hoval biomass boiler, solar water heating, rainwater toilet flushing and a sedum roof. The building has also been designed to make full use of natural daylight and non-mechanical ventilation.

“The new building has been designed on the back of the work we’ve been doing in the school and with local people,” explained head teacher David Dixon. “It is designed to be as close to carbon neutral as we can manage and will be an exemplar of what can be achieved.”

The school, designed by Nottinghamshire County Council and final year students from the Nottingham University School of the Built Environment, sourced as many products from within a 50 mile radius as possible. This was one of the reasons for selecting Hoval biomass boilers, which are manufactured in Newark just a few miles from the school.

The BioLyt boiler, which will be used for space heating and to supplement the solar water heating, will be fuelled by wood pellets produced locally from willow-based short rotation coppice plantations.

“We evaluated fuel costs and found that as gas prices continue to rise, the wood pellets are on a par with gas and are set to become cheaper,” David Dixon recalled. “The boiler is also very easy to use as it has automatic fuel feed and ash removal. The wood pellets will be stored in a specially constructed transparent pellet hopper so that people can see how it works.”

Funding for the project was achieved through a variety of sources, including the county council, the Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme (Big Lottery Fund), the Carbon Trust and local businesses. A measure of its success is the fact that it is to be used as a case study in the forthcoming Building Schools for the Future primary programme.

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