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Contract Close - Passivhaus Nursery

Plans to build a new nursery in Blackridge, West Lothian, have reached an important milestone as Contract Close was achieved this week.

Contract Close occurs when parties reach agreement on all the documentation required to progress with the main construction works. Work can now begin on site later this month, with the new centre for early years and childcare opening to pupils in October 2020.

The £1.9m project is being delivered by Hub South East in partnership with West Lothian Council, and Morrison Construction appointed as the main contractor – the same partnership that delivered the award-winning West Calder High School.

When complete, the new nursery at Blackridge Primary School, will be the first public non-domestic building designed and constructed to Passivhaus standards in Scotland.

As all new capital projects are being challenged to drive towards higher performance whilst reducing operational maintenance and running costs over the building lifecycle, an increasingly popular solution is to design to Passivhaus standard. This is a quality assured process, developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, and provides a high level of occupant comfort whilst using very little energy for heating and cooling.

Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Operation’s Director, said: “A great deal of work has gone into the development and design of this innovative project, so reaching Contract Close is a significant milestone in making this nursery for Blackridge a reality.

“We’re particularly proud to be delivering the country’s first public Passivhaus nursery. This is an exciting project in partnership with West Lothian Council and we look forward to assisting our client to meet progressive Scottish Government environmental targets, as well as helping influence next-generation design proposals for Scotland’s learning estate.”

West Lothian’s Executive councillor for education David Dodds said: “We are delighted to take an important step forward in delivering the new nursery at Blackridge.

“As the first public nursery built to Passivhaus standards, it will provide a fantastic resource for the growing younger population in the Blackridge community it serves.

“This nursery shows West Lothian Council’s commitment to achieving zero carbon targets and the climate change emergency declared by the Council in September 2019.”

Eddie Robertson, Managing Director for Morrison Construction Central, commented: “Our team is excited by the opportunity to work on what will be a real pathfinder project for West Lothian Council. Hub South East and our business.

“Embracing innovation is a key part of Morrison Construction’s approach as a business, and this project gives us an opportunity to put that into action and work with our stakeholders to evolve our methods of building educational facilities.”