The story so far...
Since 2008, we have been busy taking steps to improve our school buildings and site not only to make it a great place to learn, but also to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce our carbon foootprint. From green, living roofs to eco-friendly paint, solar PV to LED lights, it's been one step at a time, but something that we are passionate about and proud of. In fact, we're so passionate about it the children even made a film... inspired by the film 2040 here it is, Climate Forecast Final Cut:
Ground Source Heat Pump
A ground source heat pump provides heating and hotwater throughout the main school building. Heacol Ltd, a local company completed the installation for us in the summer of 2020. This is a low carbon system that we installed to replace aging oil fired boilers. Click here for more information or below to read the case study.
The drilling rig bored 10 holes in our field - each hole was 100m deep! That's 1km of drilling, wow!
Solar PV System
We have a had a 24.8KW photo voltaic or solar system installed on our school roof.
The sun is full of energy and solar energy comes from sunlight that reaches earth! The amount of sunlight that reaches earth varies depending on location, time of day, time of year, and weather conditions.
The sun has produced energy for billions of years! This means solar energy has been used by people for hundreds of years to cook food, keep warm, and to dry clothes. Today, it is also used to create electricity.
Solar cells turn light from the sun into electricity. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells. ‘Photo’ is Latin for light and ‘voltaic’ means electricity.
Solar cells are put together to make solar panels. Solar panels on our school roof collect sunlight and turn it into power. Solar energy can be used to power anything in school that needs electricity, including our LED lights and ground source heat pump system.
We have installed LED lighting and lamps thoughout school. In addition, we have movement sensors in the corridors and toilets, these sensors turn the lights on when they are needed and off when they're not. LED's use a lot less electricity than conventional lamps which is good because it reduces our carbon footprint (and saves us a bit of money on our electricity bills too!)
It's very important to make sure all that lovely heat from the radiators doesn't escape from the building too quickly. Insulation traps the heat in the building keeping it warm and snug for us humans inside, but just as importantly it means we don't waste energy making the heat in the first place.
Here at Leven Valley we've used natural and/or sustainable insulation products wherever can, including lambswool and hemp bats. There's plenty of loft insulation and all our windows are double glazed too. We've even got a green living roof on part of the building, this too helps to insulate the building.