Nottingham schools 'biggest ever' carbon emissions cut

Two Nottingham schools have achieved the biggest ever carbon emissions cuts through renewable integration ever, according to the firm carrying out improvements on campus.

An artist impression of the new look Big Wood School

An artist impression of the new look Big Wood School

Both the Big Wood and Oakfield schools in the city have dramatically reduced their carbon footprint as part of the Building Schools for the Future refitting scheme.

LowC, the firm who has worked with the schools on the scheme, has reduced the building's carbon footprint so much so that it exceeds the standards currently set by government for low carbon schools.

Put into planning terms, this is a cut of more than a 90%, when set against 2002 Part L building regulations.

The schools now also meet new targets of operating at a carbon intensity of no more than 27kg C02/m2/year, which also helps the local authorities' Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) targets.

Research undertaken by LowC suggested that around 65-70% of the actual carbon footprint of schools is typically derived from electricity consumption.

This is driven by an increased demand for ICT and other building systems, according toLowC's business development director Dr Andy Horsley.

Dr Horsley says: "This makes dealing with the carbon footprint through sector standard renewable energy carbon reduction approaches difficult.

"The standard approach would typically be based on a biomass boiler or ground source heating system.

"But, neither of these technologies addresses the electrical carbon footprint."

Dr Horsley went on to explain that as a result the approach was to develop a method of renewable combined heat and power (CHP) which would deliver a substantial portion of the heating and electrical requirements of the school, at the same time, allowing the carbon targets to be exceeded.

And, through the selection of a technology suitable for use with renewable fuel this makes sure not only the heat but also the electricity generated on site is sourced in a green way.

Luke Walsh


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