Passivhaus Affiliate

Scottish Secondary strives for Passivhaus first

With two Passivhaus certified nurseries under its belt, Scotland is gearing up to deliver a slew of Passivhaus schools in the coming years. Currently, in the pipeline, Currie Community High School is set to be the first Passivhaus Secondary School in Scotland, designed by PHT Patron Architype.

Currie Community High School, Image Credit: Architype

No stranger to the development of Passivhaus schoolsArchitype aims to redefine the norms of a traditional educational building, by providing energy-efficient and comfortable facilities for not only pupils, but also the local community.

Set on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the redevelopment is due to start in 2022, and includes:

  • Three-storey teaching block including classrooms, laboratories, food technology facilities & performance areas for creative arts.

  • Leisure centre with one of the UK’s first Passivhaus swimming pools.

  • Community library

  • Cafe

  • Outdoor hub with informal play spaces, sensory garden, public allotments.


Currie Community High School Facilities, Image credit: Wardell Armstrong

By offering a variety of facilities that can be utilised both during the day, and out of school hours, the design aims to encourage intergenerational interaction and bring socio-economic benefits to the local area, whilst considering the ecological impact of the site.

Key Stats

  • Pupil occupancy: 1000

  • Construction start: 2022

  • Completion expected: 2024 (Phase 1) 

  • Gross Internal Floor Area: 12749m2

Currie Community High School, Image credit: Architype


These pioneering designs really are the blueprint for the schools of the future. There are so many innovative elements to the plans with energy-efficiency at its center. This will make the new campus the first high school in Scotland to meet Passivhaus standards and supports Edinburgh’s aim of net-zero emissions by 2030.

Councillor Ian Perry, Education, children and families convener, City of Edinburgh Council.

Quote originally cited in PBC Today: 22 February 2021.


A key driver of the proposal is to provide healthy indoor environments for pupils and the local community. Passivhaus design provides high levels of indoor air quality and thermal comfort, which is particularly important in schools and common facilities where a constant fluctuation of activity and building occupation is common.

By providing efficient ventilation through Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), it means that classrooms and other facilities on the site will remain comfortable and fresh, improving concentration levels and overall wellbeing.

Currie Community High School, Image credit: ArchitypeCurrie Community High School, Image credit: Architype

The design aims to align with Edinburgh’s 2030 net-zero carbon targets. By implementing a fabric-first approach with improved air-tightness and insulation, the Passivhaus design will reduce the amount of energy needed for heating by up to 90%, and the total energy usage will reduce by around 70%, making Currie Community Highschool more energy-efficient and cost-effective than ever before.


What has been so refreshing on this scheme is the close, open collaboration between the client and our design team. It has driven forward the great deal of ambition around the scheme into an inspiring project for the Pentland region and nationally. Bringing Passivhaus-at-scale to the learning estate in Scotland has been a fantastic experience and we are looking forward to getting on site with Currie Community High School.

Ann-Marie Fallon, Architype


Currie Community High School, Image credit: Architype

Key Team

  • Client: Currie Community High School & City of Edinburgh Council

  • Architect: PHT Patron Architype

  • Landscape Architect: Wardell Armstrong

As one of the first projects to be included in the Scottish Government's Learning Estate Investment Programme, Currie Community High School is paving the way for energy-efficient design of educational buildings in the UK. With a predicted completion of Phase 1 in 2024, we look forward to seeing how this scheme develops over the coming years.


Futher information

Currie Community High School Redevelopment

Architype: Currie Community High School

Passivhaus for Educational Buildings Campaign

Passivhaus Schools & Educational Buildings

PBC Today: Plans revealed for Scotland’s first Passivhaus high school - 22 February 2021

Edinburgh News: First look at plans for state-of-the-art new Currie Community High School - 18 February 2021

Architype: Breathing easy - 21 October 2020

11th March 2021

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