ENERGY CHAMPION WINNER: Education – Schools – Chalgrove Primary School


Chalgrove Primary School were made aware by Barnet Council that a bulge reception class would be joining them for the 2015/2016 academic year, so approached UK Energy Partners to address their upcoming bulge class. The school briefed the project designers at UK Energy Partners about their needs, from which a layout was developed, and so the school turned to Schoolhaus for their solution; increasing their capacity, and allowing energy savings.

UK Energy Partners design and develop Schoolhaus projects – the UK’s most energy efficient school buildings; our mission is “the net zero building”. And to date our 30 Schoolhaus projects have all been ultra-efficient net zero buildings, and comfortably A+ within their EPC ratings.

The Schoolhaus at Chalgrove Primary School is a 100m² Schoolhaus building with classroom area, toilets, meeting room, and covered outdoor area. We’re proud to announce that this is the most energy efficient school building in the UK.

The energy efficient technologies within this Schoolhaus building create a system which is carbon neutral, verified by an exceptional EPC rating of A+ -83, and the building’s status as the UK’s most energy efficient school building.

At the heart of Schoolhaus is our energy first, sustainable design philosophy which translated into an affordable and ultra-efficient built environment for Chalgrove Primary School, without compromising the performance of the building; it is a new philosophy with values and design components which we believe will become, in time, de facto.

This Schoolhaus was built off-site in our factory, and erected on-site at Chalgrove Primary School in just one day.

Project by project, our design and delivery of Schoolhaus improves, we expected the Schoolhaus at Chalgrove Primary School to be highly energy efficient (A+), but we didn’t assume that it would be more energy efficient than our Schoolhaus at Palatine Primary School (A+ -77, the UK’s former most energy efficient school building).

What various methods/projects have you adopted to make your organisation more energy efficient?

The Chalgrove Schoolhaus is aesthetically impressive (with its cedar-clad exterior walls and roof perfectly covered with integrated solar PV), but the real power of the concept are the intelligent technologies concealed within:

  • Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR)
  • LED lighting
  • Occupancy and motion sensors controlling both lighting and heating
  • Lighting, heating, and cooling systems all powered by the roof’s solar PV panels.

Why did you choose this route?

Schoolhaus gave Chalgrove Primary School a rapid solution to solve their capacity issues, as well as the opportunity to generate clean energy and revenue for the school.


What benefits have you gained?

The Schoolhaus at Chalgrove is the UK’s most energy efficient school building.

“We know we love the new classroom.” – Jen Gaffney, Headteacher, Chalgrove Primary School

By how much have you reduced your carbon footprint?

Now that net zero building is recognised as an achievable, affordable reality rather than just an aspirational concept, it’s not logical to specify anything else for new building projects. Those that do are locking in a lifetime of avoidable carbon dioxide emissions and a lifetime of unnecessary energy expenditure.

These outcomes are excusable in the absence of viable alternatives, but hard to defend now that the net zero energy building is a reality. Over the 60-year design life of this building, even projects built to current energy performance best practice would lock in 3.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions and over £4,000 of energy spend per m2. Whereas this building costs nothing to power, and has net neutral CO2 emissions.

Additionally, this building was built off-site and assembled at the school, which certainly had its carbon reducing advantages: waste was almost completely eliminated and wood offcuts were used as biomass fuel to provide space heating. Deliveries were minimised because products arrived in bulk, rather than individually to disparate sites. Materials were received without packaging which saved time and waste. And a local labour pool travelled a short distance to one site.

Are you offering value for money as well as a cleaner environment?

Typically, a new Schoolhaus can be as much as 20% cheaper than competitors’ products before any allowance for the revenue generated from energy and subsidies in the form of Feed-in Tariffs from the fully-integrated solar PV roof.

This building is not only sustainable, it generates clean energy, and revenue for the school:

  • Annual solar PV yield: 16,128 kWh
  • Annual Feed-in Tariff Income: £1,888
  • Annual energy generation revenue and saved fuel costs: £3,166.


The school kept its stakeholders informed about their new build through their fortnightly newsletter and they announced that they ‘loved their new classroom’ through it.
Do you try to involve them in influencing and participating in your energy projects?

Although the following quote comes from a headteacher at a different school, it emphasises the legacy that a Schoolhaus building can create:
“It is no exaggeration to say that our new Schoolhaus building has transformed our school. The building was designed with our needs at the forefront and UK Energy Partners did not deviate once from that principle. As Head Teacher I particularly appreciated the honest interactions between myself and the company, interactions that resulted in a fantastic school building.
The building itself is a tremendous source of new learning for the children and families at the school; energy efficiency, creation and conservation have become regular conversation topics amongst our Infants.” – Jack Newton, Headteacher, Grasvenor Avenue Infant School, and Underhill Infants School and Children’s Centre

Have you involved other key stakeholders, energy organisations and the public in general?

The Schoolhaus on-site erection began during term time, which gave the children a chance to watch their new classroom being built.

“As a client I can confirm that UK Energy Partners are fully competent in what they do. A great level of professional approach, timely delivery, very high quality, within budget, and with easy communication. It’s a real pleasure to deal with UK Energy Partners, I highly recommend them for any similar involvement. And I will use them for my future proposals.” – Miladin Stevanovic, Building & Compliance Surveyor at London Borough of Barnet Council.


We’re committed to designing, manufacturing, and installing new buildings that surpass the “net zero” standard.

Chalgrove is the latest recipient of Schoolhaus; with a new building that’s truly A+, top of its class.

Key stats:

  • Total surface area: 100m²
  • Annual solar PV yield: 16,128 kWh
  • Annual Feed-In Tariff Income: £1,888
  • Annual energy generation revenue and saved fuel costs: £3,166
  • Schoolhaus EPC rating: A+ (-83)

The EPC Rating for the Schoolhaus at Chalgrove Primary School


Floorplan of the Schoolhaus at Chalgrove Primary School


Photos below showing the completed Schoolhaus building at Chalgrove Primary School, and photos taken during its construction.

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