Building type School
Building age post 2000
Cost of work 3800000
District St Edmundsbury
Features Solar Hot Water Heating,Solar PV Panels,Green Sedum Roof,Biomass Boiler,Insulation and Glazing,Ventilation Systems

Clements is a new build community primary school, built on former playing fields in Haverhill. For a summary of this exciting scheme open this PDF document.

Main features include a largely open plan double height central circulation and activity area linking the learning spaces together and providing a dynamic and vibrant hub to the building sub divided to provide activity areas, a library meeting rooms, groups rooms and storage. The community has opportunities for use of the Hall and a large community room.

Sustainability features in the design include a biomass boiler, solar collectors, a sedum roof and using natural light and ventilation.

Suffolk County Council installed a 200kW biomass boiler in Clements Primary School in 2011. Biomass boilers that use locally grown wood chips for generating space heating and hot water, offer significant potential for carbon reductions, especially when they are used to replace oil-fired boilers, or even electric heating. Suffolk County Council has installed in the region of 4MW of biomass boiler capacity over the last 4 years encompassing  approximately 20 school sites. This overall capacity will deliver approximately 4440 MWh of renewable heat each year (enough to heat over 200 typical family homes) and will result in an annual carbon reduction in carbon emissions in the region of 1,600 tonnes.

Biomass installations to-date have been funded through  various bio-energy grant schemes however, moving forward future installations will be designed to be  eligible for annual renewable-heat payments under the Government’s renewable-heat-incentive (RHI) scheme.

Sustainability Features

The school uses several types of renewable and low carbon energy sources to contribute to the electricity and heating needs of the building.

Some of the classroom block roofs are covered in sedum plants. Chosen for their ability to protect the waterproofing layer, the ecological benefits and visual impact, sedum constantly changes colour to reflect the seasons. They also provide a rich habitat for birds, butterflies and insects.

The space heating energy requirement of the building is about 350,000kWh per annum. This is met by a dedicated boiler fuelled by woodchips resulting in a saving of around 60 tonnes Co2 per year compared to a standard gas boiler. Hot water is provided from a gas fired water heater with solar collectors.

Sustainable electrical features include T5 energy saving lamps,sensor controlled lighting for WC areas and corridors and photocell control for external lighting. To further reduce the overall environmental impact, a 12m2 area of solar panels has been installed to pre-heat water for the storage tanks in the boiler room. Walking and cycling to school is encouraged by the council’s “Safety to School” initiative. The scheme also discourages parents from using cars over short distances to bring children to school. All this helps reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.


Design Process




Green Lifestyle




Suppliers and Professional Services Used

Consultant Team: Suffolk County Council



RIBA Suffolk Craftsmanship Award Winner 2012