Passivhaus Affiliate

Super-sized Scottish campus targets Passivhaus

Passivhaus super campus projects are springing up across Scotland, including Dunfermline, Dundee, and Ardrossan. Multiple educational buildings are being planned for these largescale, super-sized Passivhaus schemes

Dunfermline Learning Campus: High schools

High schools at Dunfermline Learning Campus. Image credit: AHR Architects

The new Dunfermline Learning Campus will incorporate the relocation of a college and two schools (St Columba’s RC High School and Woodmill High School). The high school element of the Dunfermline Learning Campus will be delivering a whopping 23,000 m2 of Passivhaus efficiency and comfort. To put it in context, it dwarfs the Northern Ireland Erne Campus, which has a treated floor area of 7167m2. The project is a Pathfinder project for Scotland's  Net Zero Public Sector Building Standard

  • Good form factor was an important early consideration. The building is large and the project team was keen to keep the form as compact as possible.
  • The building combines two construction types for different elements of the building. The choice of  precast concrete frame and glulam frame aimed to help with the achievement of airtightness targets and improve the adoption of airtightness on site. However, the use of hybrid building envelope frames introduced challenges.
  • Primary energy demand on this typology of building can be challenging. It was important for the design team to understand the profiles of use for the high demand spaces, such as home economics and design & technology, in order to input accurate energy figures from accurately developed usage profiles.
  • As well as the operational carbon targets, embodied carbon targets were aiming for a budget of under 650kg/CO2e/m2, as per RIBA 2025 Target and the Net Zero Carbon Public Sector Building Standard. 
  • Internal comfort and natural light levels are an important consideration and internal courtyards allow natural light to penetrate deep into the building. 
  • Construction: Hybrid precast concrete frame and glulam frame
  • Cost: £112 million 
  • Number of pupils: 2514
  • Gross internal loor area (GIFA): 26,666 m2
  • Treated floor area (TFA): 23,186 m2 
  • Form factor: 1.7
  • Build start date: 2022
  • Anticipated completion date: June 2024
  • Certification: Aiming for Passivhaus Classic


Dunfermline Learning Campus was designed as a pathfinder project for the Scottish Governments’ Net Zero Public Sector Building Standard. The two schools that will form part of the campus have been designed to provide great learning environments whilst also meaningfully integrating the management of carbon, energy and environment to create a truly sustainable school experience. In creating our innovative Dunfermline Learning Campus, we want to provide a lasting educational legacy for future generations, supporting and improving the whole learning environment whilst also helping us meet our net zero obligations.   

Alan Paul, Head of Property Services, Fife Council


Dunfermline Learning Campus. Image credit: Fife Council


Ground bearing concrete slab on insulation (precast building). Precast: 0.140 W/m2K

Suspended slab with insulation under screed (glulam building). CLT: :0.106 W/m2K


Main frame of precast concrete and glulam. Mineral wool insulation. Facing brick + cladding finishes.

Precast: 0.149 W/m2K & CLT: :0.147 W/m2K


Inverted membrane roof. Insulation on precast planks, with structural screed topping. Precast: 0.102W/m2K

Inverted membrane roof with insulation on glulam plank roof. CLT: 0.096 W/m2K


Predicted energy performance

Space Heating Demand (≤15 kWh/m².yr)

13 kWh/m2.yr 

Peak Heating Load (10 W/m2)

8 W/m2

Primary Energy Renewable demand: (PER)

68 kWh/m2.yr (verification under PER)


Fife Council is committed to developing sustainable and energy efficient properties in line with the Climate Fife Strategy. The Passivhaus Standard was adopted to focus the schools for Dunfermline Learning campus on exceeding Scottish Future Trust's 67kWh/m2 energy in use target. This also contributes to our net zero aspirations.

Shona Cargill, Lead Officer (Sustainable Development), Fife Council

Key team

Clients: Fife Council

Architects: AHR Architects

Contractors: BAM Construction

M&E Design: Rybka

Structural Engineer: AECOM

Passivhaus Certifier: WARM

High schools at Dunfermline Learning Campus. Image credit: AHR Architects


East End Community Campus, Dundee

East End Community Campus, Dundee

East End Community Campus brings together Braeview Academy and Craigie High School in Dundee. The campus is also designed as a community facility, with sports facilities, auditorium, community rooms, teaching spaces and informal meeting spaces available for use by the general public. 

Contributing to Dundee City Council’s carbon reduction targets, the campus is designed to have low energy consumption both during the construction phase and throughout the life of the building. 

The project is being developed for Dundee City Council by Holmes Miller Architects, Atelier Ten, Sussed Sustainability. Goodson Associates and Robertson Tayside.

  • Cost: £100 million 

  • Number of students: 1900

  • Build start date: Spring 2023

  • Anticipated completion date: 2025

  • Certification: Aiming for Passivhaus Classic

Ardrossan Community Campus

Ardrossan Community Campus. Image credit: JM Architects

Ardrossan Community Campus is an educational and community project for North Ayrshire Council replacing the Winton Primary and Ardrossan Academy schools.

Partially funded through the Scottish Futures Trust, the project will be part of a new community and educational campus on a former brownfield site within Ardrossan’s North Shore and Harbour area and will target the Passivhaus standard, in line with SFT targets of in-use energy consumption of 67/kWh/m²/annum.

The project is being undertaken for North Ayrshire Council, with jmarchitects and Wallace Whittle Contractors and PHT member Zero Energy +Passivhaus as Passivhaus Certifier. 

  • Cost: £80 million 

  • Build start date: Site remediation Summer 2023, Construction to start Summer 2024

  • Anticipated completion date: 2026

  • Certification: Aiming for Passivhaus Classic

We hope to bring you more detailed case studies as the schemes above progress. Is your Passivhaus project missing? Share your projects by completing & returning the following request form.


Further information

Dunfermline Learning Campus - Fife Council

Dunfermline Learning Campus - Schools - Scottish Futures Trust

Replacement Woodmill and St Columbas's High Schools

BAM starts main works on £220m Fife super campus

Passivhaus campus to serve East Dundee

New community campus at the Ardrossan North Shore 

Passivhaus for Educational Buildings

Previous PHT story: Scottish Schools lead largescale Passivhaus – 8 April 2022

22nd November 2022

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