A Scottish primary school is set to undergo a ground-breaking makeover, becoming the first school in the UK to achieve a new standard of energy efficiency.

Working in partnership with East Ayrshire Council, Hamson Barron Smith (HBS), which is part of the Norse Group, will lead on the design and delivery of the country’s first ever ‘Passivhaus EnerPHit’ certified school – with the ‘EnerPHit’ standard internationally recognised for delivering outstanding energy improvements in existing buildings.

St Sophia’s Primary School, in Galston, East Ayrshire, will benefit from a significant programme of works, with a strong focus on improving the fabric of the school building, as well as adopting other innovative designs to make the school more eco-friendly.

As older buildings tend to use more energy than an average new construction, they can offer enormous potential for energy savings and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, with Hamson Barron Smith’s team of design experts relishing the challenge of pushing the barriers of what is possible in sustainable design.

Associate Director at Hamson Barron Smith, Sarah Lewis, said: “It is incredibly exciting to be working with East Ayrshire Council on this landmark project.

“By adopting the EnerPHit standard, we are ensuring that environmental excellence is at the heart of this project, which will hopefully pave the way for other schools to see how it is possible to achieve significant energy savings.

“At Hamson Barron Smith, sustainability underpins everything we do – whether it’s our approach to design and consultancy, or the way we run our business – and it’s great to see that our partners at East Ayrshire Council share that vision.

“We look forward to seeing this project come to life, with the potential of achieving some of the largest energy reductions ever seen in a UK school.”

Andrew Kennedy, Head of Facilities and Property Management at East Ayrshire Council said: “I am delighted that the design process is now underway and we look forward to working with architects Hamson Barron Smith, our primary consultants on this project.

“Together we will ensure that the school is sustainable, flexible and economical to run, now and into the future.

“This innovative project will provide our young learners with the opportunity to learn in an environment that matches the hopes and aspirations of the school community.”

St Sophia’s Primary School