Dimplex scores an A for performance

A Dimplex heat pump is part of a £200,000 new Eco project and innovative classroom and learning facility that’s also secured an ‘A’ rated energy performance certificate for a school in Hampshire.

South Baddesley primary school near Lymington has opened its new Ecological Discovery Centre, a new build learning resource and classroom equipped with eco technologies and a sustainable design based on Passiv Haus principles.  

In addition to the Dimplex LA 9 MI 9kW air source heat pump that provides the hot water for the underfloor heating, Gary Lawrence of John Pardey Architects designed the building to meet the school’s aims for a green building using the latest technologies.

“We were working to a budget and specified the Dimplex heat pump not only because it would deliver the required performance but also because they were very pro-active in delivering the full back up service and were really enthusiastic about supporting this project,” he said.

“This low energy building is the direct result of high energy input from everyone who has been involved and it has been a model of sustainability in action, with no opportunity wasted.  The design deliberately leaves much of the technology exposed as a ‘living learning’ tool, for example the MVHR units are ceiling mounted with the ducting exposed while the Dimplex heat pump is visible in its safe enclosure at the rear of the building.  The children’s enthusiasm throughout has been refreshing and they’ve been very involved along the way from fundraising to asking us challenging questions at our regular presentations at assemblies,” added Gary Lawrence.

Adventurous project

Sue Whitehead, the school’s clerical officer, took on the role of project manager and the enthusiasm shared by everyone was essential in making the building happen. She added: “This has been an adventurous project for a small school and it’s amazing what can be done with courage and goodwill.  We’re really grateful to all our supporters and Dimplex for making it happen.  We’ve already secured an Eco Schools silver award and now we’re going to go for more as we have such fantastic momentum.”

The new building is adjacent to the existing 150 year old Victorian school building which shares an installation of 56 solar PV panels to provide electricity for both buildings.  The Eco centre itself is a timber frame construction with hemp and lime insulation, a sedum and wildflower green roof, solatube daylighting systems and large windows for natural daylight.

Recycling has also been a theme incorporated into the design with recycled glass footing bricks as a bar to cold bridging and recycled newspaper notice boards throughout the building.  

Grant funding for half of the cost of the £200k project was received from a range of sources including Hampshire County Council and the New Forest Sustainable Development Fund.  More funds came from donations, grants, supplier support and an active fundraising programme which included music festivals, a pupils’ Solent sailing event, a cycle trip across Britain and abseiling Portsmouth’s landmark Spinnaker tower.

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