Passivhaus Affiliate

Greenlight for new Sutton Secondary vying for Passivhaus 1st

A major new £36m secondary school in Sutton has successfully received planning permission. Continuing the London Borough of Sutton’s reputation for high-quality development, a key integration has been environmental sustainability, with an ambition to achieve both Passivhaus and BREEAM Excellent certification. Once certified, this will be the UK’s 1st Passivhaus Secondary School.

Proposed render of Sutton Secondary School ©Architype

Proposed render of Sutton Secondary School  ©Northgraf / Architype

Designed by PHT Patron Architype, the 6 form-entry school with 6th form is part of the wider masterplan for the intended London Cancer Hub (LCH), a new life science innovation cluster focused on cancer research and treatment, situated on the former Sutton Hospital site.

The brief for the school, developed by coucnul and the Harris Federation, seizes the opportunity to integrate secondary school pupils into the campus’s wider remit of scientific research and treatment.

Sutton Secondary School ©ArchitypeProposed render of Sutton Secondary School,  ©Issac Ewuwole / Architype

 Complementary to the broader sites core purpose for future health improvements, the Passivhaus design will offer a healthy, optimised learning environment for school users, as well as answering the local authority’s requirements to minimise operational carbon.


We have worked hard to maintain a rigorous ecological approach while navigating the complex site constraints and we are delighted to have received planning permission for this groundbreaking project.  We look forward to working with London Borough of Sutton, Harris Federation and Willmott Dixon to deliver an exemplary school environment and the first entire Passivhaus secondary school in the UK.

Ben Humphries, Architype Director


Sutton Secondary School - Architype

Artists render of Sutton Secondary School, ©Issac Ewuwole / Architype

Key Team

Client: London Borough of Sutton & Harris Federation

Architect and Passivhaus Designer: Architype

Contractor: Willmott Dixon

QS: Synergy

Planning Consultant: Lichfields

Structural Engineer: Price & Myers

M&E consultant: BDP

Acoustician: BDP

Landscape: Churchman Landscape Architects

Fire Consultant: Arup

Education Consultant: Lloyd Wilson Partnership

Passivhaus Certifier: WARM Low Energy Building Practice


The design has been strongly influenced by consultation with multiple stakeholders and the surrounding community. The central spine of the four-storey school is interposed by alternating wings to balance the mass of this large school that will accommodate up to 1,275 pupils and 95 staff. This dynamic layout maximises the sites usable external areas, enhanced by a comprehensive landscape strategy that offers a diverse range of outdoor recreational and learning spaces and sports facilities.


Our academy’s innovative design matches the excellent standard of education we intend to deliver for local families. Its proximity to the world-leading doctors, scientists and technicians that will be drawn to work at the proposed LCH means our students will have unparalleled opportunities to develop their research skills and excel in science. We will also have space and excellent facilities for arts and sports too. Parents and carers can apply for a place at the academy via the common application form to join us in 2018. Register your interest with the Harris Federation to keep up to date on building developments, admissions and additional information events by visiting:

James Fisher, Principal Designate of Harris Academy Sutton


The design proposes cross laminated timber (CLT) and concrete frame construction. PHT Patron, Willmott Dixon have been named as the successful tenderer for the project and with the project team are now developing the detailed design. The project starts on site at the end of the year, with completion due in 2019.


Further Information


Willmott Dixon aims for another Passivhaus first


19th October 2017

< Back To News