South Point Primary School

  • Location

    Rhoose, South Wales

  • Client

    Vale of Glamorgan County Council

  • Value

    £5m

  • Completion

    2021

  • Size

    1,466m2

  • BREEAM Rating

    Excellent

Wales’ first net zero carbon primary school

South Point Primary is the first school in Wales to achieve net zero carbon for operational energy, whilst in-use.

The school was formed in 2021 when the nearby Llancarfan Primary School was relocated to Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan. The new, BREEAM ‘Excellent’ school sits on a sloping, coastal site at the heart of a new residential development.

The north-south orientated building benefits from a highly-insulated envelope, paired with renewable technologies including extensive PV coverage, air-source heat pumps and on-site battery storage to provide an exceptionally sustainable, modern school.

The physical measures are complimented by a client that is committed and open to the behavioural change necessary to ensure that the maximum benefit is taken from the net zero carbon design.

The design team was able to work with the local authority to ensure that active travel was promoted, within the plot and around it, through the coordination of enhanced pedestrian and cycle links. Generous footpaths and cycleways surround the site, connecting to the nearby residential and amenity areas.

Materials and colours were chosen to reference the local context. The building is sited at a level that limits visual impact on surrounding residences.

Biodiversity is achieved through a considered landscape design that includes rain gardens, new tree planting and educational growing areas, all contributing to a sitewide sustainable drainage strategy.

As the project neared completion, we worked with contractor ISG to produce a QR code trail around the building and site for the pupils to follow and learn, in an easily-digestible and visual language, how their building is so environmentally progressive and how this helps to tackle climate change.

Photography by Matt Cant.