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Norfolk school's new Eco-Nursery 11th greenest in UK

Norwich Road Academy's new environmentally friendly nursery costs nothing to heat and light

Posted by Hannah Vickers | May 25, 2017 | Sustainability

By John Potts, Site Manager at Norwich Road Academy 

As site manager at Norwich Road Academy, I was set the task of finding a construction company which could build us a new nursery building with enough space to offer 30 hour funded places for nursery students. What we have ended up with is a fantastic new Eco-Nursery which has been ranked the 11th most energy efficient school building in the UK and the most energy efficient school building in Norfolk. 

After research into different companies, we decided to use Net Zero Buildings. Net Zero Buildings design and build ‘Schoolhaus’, which are the UK’s most energy efficient school buildings. Net Zero Buildings came highly recommended by other academies in the area who had either worked with them or heard of them. 

Another advantage was the build time on site: it’s minimal. Net Zero Buildings are an off-site manufacturer; their buildings are pre-fabricated in the factory and then assembled on site in just a couple of weeks. Once assembled, the decorating is then completed and the building is ready for use within just a few weeks of working at the school. For a school which still had to operate normally, this was music to our ears. 

We also liked the style of the building, as it is very pleasing to look at and fits in perfectly with the school environment. The individual design can be bespoke and tailored to the client’s needs. We needed a nursery with a large open classroom area, toilets, a kitchenette and baby changing facilities. From a simple sketch, Net Zero Buildings were able to design just what we required.

What really made the decision for us was the energy credentials of the building. The new nursery building is so efficient that it costs us nothing to heat and light

But, what really made the decision for us was the energy credentials of the building. The new nursery building is so efficient that it costs us nothing to heat and light. A main design feature of the building is the solar PV roof which provides a negative carbon emission rating (A+-64). The building has also created a new revenue avenue for the school, as we are now eligible to apply for the Feed in Tarif (FIT) scheme. The positive impact on the environment is invaluable which is extremely important to us at Norwich Road Academy. 

Overall, this was a painless and cost-effective building which was delivered on time and most importantly, within our budget. As a school, we are so pleased we now have this unique new learning space which not only benefits the environment and the school but also enables us to be able to offer 30 hour funded places for nursery students, with full time places being available from September.

We are so proud of our new building at Norwich Road Academy and will be hosting a grand opening day on Thursday May 25th 2017. All schools and parents interested in joining our nursery are welcome to attend. I would highly recommend Net Zero Buildings and Schoolhaus to anyone and everyone! 

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