New energy efficient nursery proposed at University

New energy efficient nursery proposed at University

A planning application has been submitted for an innovative, energy efficient £2.25 million nursery at the University of Aberdeen.

The new Rocking Horse Nursery will be designed as a ‘Passive House’ – an architectural standard for ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.

The design style, which originated in Germany, is estimated to achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements compared to a standard UK new build*.

Passive House constructions remain comparatively rare in the UK and the nursery will be among the first buildings of its kind in Scotland. 

Expected to open in September 2014, the nursery will be situated behind King’s Hall on the University’s King’s College Campus, relocating from its current position within College Bounds.

It will have provisions for 78 children, and be available to University staff and students.

Boswell Mitchell and Johnston Architects have designed the building, which will:

  • Provide easy indoor/outdoor access to allow children more choice
  • Include two garden areas which will be shared by all children, allowing them to interact with each other
  • Include a centrally located art room - a shared space for children aged 2-5 years and can be used for a variety of different purposes
  • Include a large windowed corridor providing an extra play space for all children and a family room which can be used as a multi-purpose space

Leith Forsyth, Director of Student Life at the University of Aberdeen said: “The University has worked closely with the architectural team to design the new Rocking Horse Nursery to maximise energy efficiency to reduce the impact of its construction and operation on the environment.

“The Passive House design reflects the institution’s commitment to energy reduction across campus, whilst the layout of the building aims to provide a positive learning environment for the children of University staff and students, attending the nursery.

Sarah Walker, Manager of the Rocking Horse Nursery said: “The building has been carefully designed to maximise the children’s learning experience.

“Easy access between indoor and outdoor spaces will aim to encourage freedom of choice and independent play.  Interaction between different age groups will also be promoted by the free flow between the different areas of the nursery and elements such as the centrally-located art room.”