Our Projects: Hackbridge Primary School

After providing consultancy services on the UK’s first Passivhaus secondary school, Harris Academy, Synergy is proud to have been a part of the project team for the new revolutionary, Hackbridge Primary School.

  • Project Features:
  • Sustainable Design
  • Award Winning Project
  • New Build

A new build primary school for 420 pupils aged 5-11, Hackbridge is the UK’s first true Net Zero Carbon school and the first to be certified to meet the Passivhaus Plus standard.

Sitting in natural surroundings between a conservation wetlands area and the pioneering BedZED eco-village, the school is part of the council’s commitment to ‘One Planet Sutton Living’, a framework that aims to reduce the borough’s impact on the environment and create happier, healthy lives for residents.

The wetlands have also been unlocked for the wider community, with footpath improvements making it accessible to the public.

Design and Materials:

Materials have been selected that enhance health and wellbeing, have low embodied carbon and are easy to construct and maintain, such as the extensive use of timber. Natural textures, a neutral palette and extensive triple glazed windows connects the school to the outdoors, creates bright and airy classrooms and provides high performing thermal comfort all year round.


Every aspect of the school has been sensitively designed to reduce its ecological and carbon impact. All soil excavated during construction has been re-used to create grass mounds in play areas, in keeping with the zero-waste approach. Rainwater harvesting and bicycle storage reflect the council’s One Planet Sutton aspirations. A shady woodland area has been created to protect the local moths, butterflies and bats and natural swales form part of the drainage strategy.

The renewables used on site include both an extensive photovoltaic array on the roof of the school in combination with ground source air source heat pumps to provide free heating and cooling.

This technology actually generates more energy than the building consumes (only 75% of 100% generated) meaning a potential 14,800 kWh of energy should be exported to the grid every year. Hackbridge has an A+ EPC rating and far exceeds the requirements of BREEAM.

Nature Enriched Learning:

The school celebrates the natural world by providing opportunities for the children to observe and interact with the biodiverse landscape, such as wildlife watching on the safe jetty in the water run-off pond planted with native species. By encouraging the exploration of nature in daily school life, Hackbridge seeks to create memorable learning moments that inspire children and nuture their self development. Internal materials, artistic touches, lighting and layout have been carefully considered to integrate indoor and outdoor learning.

Architect: Architype

RIBA South West London Regional Award winner 2023

Winner of the non-domestic category at the UK Passivhaus Awards 2023

  • Client: London Borough of Sutton
  • Sector: Education
  • Services: Cost Consultancy
  • Contract: Confidential

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