Somerset opening first ‘net zero’ school

It’s set to cost £11.3m and include solar panels and EV parking

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Somerset’s first net zero school has been granted planning permission by the county council.

Orchard Grove Primary School in Taunton is set to cost £11.3 million and include solar panels for energy generation, as well as parking for electric vehicles.

It is being built using a German construction idea called Passivhaus, meaning ‘passive house.’ This concept sees the building built with low energy use for heating and cooling in mind – to reduce the carbon footprint during use and after use.

The school, with a capacity of 420, is set to open for students in September 2024.

Tessa Munt, Councillor, said: “I’m thrilled that this school has been approved and children in the area will have the opportunity to learn in a green environment.

“It’s important to keep energy costs down so schools can focus their resources on education. This is a historic school build we can all take great pride in.”