Impington Village College (IVC) announces an innovative new partnership with one of the world’s leading construction groups, Skanska. The programme is one of the first of its kind in the country, and may act as a pathfinder project to establish a model for other schools up and down the country.
The project entitled Sustainable IVC will involve a major retrofit which will reduce the College’s carbon footprint by a staggering 50 percent. The programme will also bring a range of educational benefits and learning opportunities to students, as well as introducing a behaviour change programme which is intended to filter into the local community.
Sustainable IVC has been in development for two years but has only just received the go ahead in the form of planning consent from South Cambridgeshire District Council. The programme of works is one of the largest entered into by any school in the country. It will commence in summer 2014 with the installation of three biomass boilers.
In total the programme will require an investment of £1 million through an Energy Performance Contract (EPC). Skanska will fund this upfront through private investment, and then recoup the outlay over a seven-year period (through a combination of savings on bills, revenue generated through the sale of any surplus energy, and drawing on government incentives).
Once the investment has been paid off the additional revenue will bring the College an estimated £3 million over the following 15 years. If the savings don’t add up, Skanska will assume the shortfall.
“Education is essential to sustainable development, and yet a majority of educational establishments are simply not in a position to invest in programmes that promote models of good practice.” Says Fran Difranco, Director of Finance and Resources at Impington Village College.
“The Energy Performance Contract with Skanska presents an opportunity for us to make big changes here at Impington. As well as making financial sense, the project will have a significant impact on our students. As global citizens we hope they will take this message into their homes, communities and futures.”
The Sustainable IVC project has numerous interventions including:
- Three biomass boilers, due to be installed over the summer holidays, will provide 85 percent of the thermal load usually supplied by gas, reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 30 percent and generating £60,000 a year in tariffs claimed back and reduced bills. With vision panels to be added to the boilers, pupils will be able to see exactly how they work and follow the energy trail from the boiler to the swimming pool, as well as analyse the data in the classroom.
- Replacing all lamp fittings with low wattage lights or LEDs will reduce carbon emissions by a further 10 percent, and smart meters will enable the school and Skanska to analyse the energy usage and decide whether further changes are required.
- Global Action Plan charity (GAP), which has worked with 3,000 schools over 20 years, will be providing a behaviour change programme. Teaching students to turn off lights and computer screens has been shown to yield between 3-10 percent annual carbon savings.
- Electrical optimisation equipment will smooth out peaks and troughs of energy use and PV panels will be installed.