Plans unveiled for Scotland’s first Passivhaus high school

Currie Community High School will be designed to the Passivhaus energy standard, with the aim of  reducing the amount of energy needed for heating by up to 90% compared to the norm. The standard also lowers the total amount of energy used by around 70% and minimises carbon emissions.

The campus will be the first Passivhaus-designed high school in Scotland and is being built in support Edinburgh’s aim of net zero emissions by 2030. 

A series of engagement events have been held with staff, pupils from both the high school and cluster primary schools, parents and the local community in the past two years as the plans have been developed.

As a result of this, the new building will offer the community daytime, evening and weekend access to an intergenerational community hub. Visitors can drop in to the library space in the foyer, access meeting rooms and digital services, visit the café, use the gym and pool or walk around the grounds.

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The new school is one of the projects included in the first phase of the Scottish government’s Learning Estate Investment Programme. It is expected to be completed in 2024.

Jenny Smith, Currie Community High School head teacher, said: “We’re incredibly excited as a community about our new school. The designs are coming together beautifully and truly representative of our community vision for education and lifelong learning. Our new school is going to be innovative and pioneering in every way, very much flying the Passivhaus flag, and of course, the first of its kind in Scotland.”

Councillor Ian Perry, who is education, children and families convener for the council, said: “These are really exciting times for the Currie community as these pioneering designs really are the blueprint for the schools of the future. There are so many innovative elements to the plans with energy efficiency at its centre. This will make the new campus the first high school in Scotland to meet Passivhaus standards and supports Edinburgh’s aim of net zero emissions by 2030. 

“The new Currie Community High School will provide a first-class learning environment and an exciting, inspirational and creative hub for the whole community. This is an exciting period for education in the Capital with recent new builds and projects under construction demonstrating our ambitious new school building programme with £500m investment planned over the next 10 years.”

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