Raheen Model Sustainable National School

Raheen National School is a sustainable school near Portlaoise. Construction is now complete. Designed by the Department of Education and Science's in house architects, Overy & Associates were appointed as Mechanical and Electrical consultants due to our special expertise in low energy design. Contract value is about €2 million.

Extensive detailed dynamic thermal simulations were carried out by Overy & Associates using the program DOE2.1E from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, California. Studies included analysis of the following features which were incorporated:

 - Light weight timber frame construction with high insulation levels
 - Passive solar heating with low emissivity glazing
Natural daylighting with automatically dimming high frequency lighting
 - Suitable but simple automatic controls

The school also incorporated:

 - Rainwater collection systems for use in WC flushing
 - A turf roof
 - Other
sustainable measures.

Fuel used to heat the school is about 58 kWh/m2/year, which is about half the figures generally considered as Good Practice. Similarly, early indications show electricity consumption is likely to be about 19 kWh/m2/year. Of the 19 kWh/m2/year, about 6 kWh/m2/year is attributable to the sewage effluent treatment plant which operates 24 hours per day all year. Had a local authority sewage connection been available, this would have been reduced to 13 kWh/m2/ year which compares well with the established Good Practice figure of 22 kWh/m2/year.

Overy + Associates performed two whole building pressure and smoke tests at contract completion, to enable the contractor to find and seal unintentional air leakage paths.