New school takes energy efficiency to the heart of the community

Release date: 28 June 2013

A brand new primary school is leading by example and taking the energy efficient message right to the core of a newly designed, urban community, just as the council planners required.

Chapelford Village Primary School, serving a new urban village in Warrington, is a shining example of an innovative, ultra-modern school building – one designed to be fit for purpose for many years to come and demonstrate the council’s commitment to sustainable living.

When Warrington Borough Council decided to develop the village, it wanted a state-of-the-art primary school building at the heart of the community that was also able to demonstrate the council’s commitment to sustainable living.

Key to the £4.3 million building project was a low-impact design which used advanced, renewable, energy efficient equipment to keep the school environment fresh and comfortable for both staff and pupils.

To bring their vision to life the Council called in Manchester-based SBS Architects who designed a state-of-the-art building that would include features such as lighting control with absence detectors, mechanical heat recovery ventilation and the latest commercial air source heat pumps which offer renewable heating to the school.

Warrington Borough Council awarded the contract to build the school to construction specialist John Turner & Sons, located in Manchester and Liverpool, and work began on the 1.87 hectare site in March 2012.

“Central to the Council’s vision for the new school was a building that could achieve an energy efficient BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’,” explained Peter Marshall from SBS Architects, who developed the plans for the school.

BREEAM is a globally recognised environmental assessment and rating system for buildings and sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation. It promotes low impact design and minimising a building’s energy demands with the use of energy efficient, low carbon technologies.

Built with the support of the local education department, the new school has a gross floor area of 2,219m2 and includes 14 classrooms. These are now home to the 420 staff and pupils who attend the newly created Primary School having relocated from an aging facility nearby known as Sycamore Lane Primary.

Heating, cooling and ventilation for the building was planned by consultants BCM Consulting, located in Manchester, who designed the cost-effective energy efficient system in close collaboration with manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric.

“BCM used advanced energy modelling techniques to determine that the optimum energy solution for heating this building was to use air source heat pumps,” said BCM Engineer, Matthew Hakes. “And following further analysis we arrived at the conclusion that a Mitsubishi Electric system would provide the best technical solution for this application.”

So confident were the two companies that the new system would fulfil every requirement for the building’s heating and hot water that a decision was taken to only install a small gas supply that would service the kitchen area only.

Having produced the new design, the team then brought in Liverpool-based renewable energy experts A&B Engineering, to install the new heating system in the school.

Each individual Ecodan CAHV system offers space heating and sanitary hot water up to 70ºC. Units operate effectively in ambient temperatures of -20ºC to 40ºC making them ideal for use all year round.

The system at Chapelford Primary School is capable of delivering 172kW at an outdoor temperature of -3°C, with minimal drop off down to -20°C including defrost.

For every 1kW of electricity used to power an Ecodan CAHV air source heat pump, up to 3.2kW of heat can be delivered to the building; 69% of which is renewable energy.  Ecodan CAHV air source heat pumps can operate as a single unit or as part of a multiple unit system. When installed in multiples the units can cascade on and off to optimise performance and deliver peak efficiency.

Mitsubishi Electric’s Ecodan CAHV monobloc systems are designed to meet even the most dynamic load requirements allowing output capacity to increase in 0.5kW increments, from 18kW all the way up to 688kW. This produces a level of modulation that is unprecedented within the heating industry.

The doors have now opened on Chapelford Village Primary School and it is ready to take the energy efficient message right to the core of this newly designed urban community – exactly as Warrington Borough Council required.

For further information about A&B Engineering visit or call 0151 220 4206.

For further information on Ecodan air source heat pumps call 01707 282880 or visit


Note to editor:

Founded in 1921, Mitsubishi Electric is a global, market leading, environmental technologies manufacturer, producing an advanced range of heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment. The company realises that ensuring the right solutions are selected for each individual building, requires collaboration by all involved. Mitsubishi Electric has therefore changed the way it does business to ensure engagement with all involved in delivering sustainable buildings so that together, we can make a world of difference.

For further editorial information please contact:

Russell Jones                                       Email:
PR & Communications Manager             Telephone: 01707 278772

PLEASE NOTE: Colour separation or production charge requests will only be processed by email.  Please send ALL requests to         





“BCM used advanced energy modelling techniques to determine that the optimum energy solution for heating this building was to use air source heat pumps.”
BCM Engineer, Matthew Hakes.