Local MP opens Varndean School’s new sustainable Schoolhaus

The MP for Brighton Pavilion will talk to the school’s Eco Club students after opening the new ‘Schoolhaus’ building.

The building itself is a lesson in the benefits of renewable technologies – and the young eco-club members are fully on board.  The Varndean Schoolhaus building could be the most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable school building in the country.

The surplus electricity generated by the building’s solar panels is fed to the rest of the school, or exported back to the grid. The Varndean Schoolhaus will generates £3,200 per annum in extra revenue for the school and also save on day to day running costs costs due to its energy efficient design.

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact Mike Eames on 07590 050 565 or at mike.eames@greenparty.org.uk


The building provides space for an additional classroom and a comfortable, permanent and progressive learning environment self powered by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion said:

“I am sure that Varndean’s young people will be delighted with this new building which provides a wonderful learning environment as well as being at the forefront of sustaianble architecture.

“It gives students a valuable insight into a sustainable future with its renewable electricity being used by the school and the surplus is sold to the National Grid. It is a model that I hope other schools will adopt across the country.”

William Deighan, Headteacher, said: “We are delighted with the Schoolhaus building as it fits perfectly with our school ethos to be more sustainable. It is an example of what can be achieved for both our young people and the local community and we look forward to using this innovative space.”

Built by UK Energy Partners, Varndean’s Schoolhaus  has created space for a classroom and a comfortable, permanent, progressive learning environment, avoiding resorting to expensive temporary, ad hoc measures.

This new building’s solar panels will add to the energy generated by the solar PV panels recently installed, as a result of a student led fundraising effort within the Solar Schools programme. These are already powering a classroom of PCs.


Notes for Editors:

Varndean School - background

Varndean School is a large comprehensive secondary school in Brighton serving the local community, and forming part of a close-knit schools network in the area. It is constrained by an old school building with little scope for expansion and development but had the need for more workspace, a student lunch area and a training zone.

The only way in which the school could achieve this was to demolish an old, under-utilised and crumbling bike shed and create a space adjacent to the main school. Funding restrictions meant that the Schoolhaus solution was the only realistic means of achieving new space - buildings which offer sharply reduced running costs through a combination of efficient and renewable technologies - allied to modern methods of construction and quality design, available at a cost per square meter unmatched by traditional temporary or permanent new builds of equivalent size.

The Varndean Schoolhaus is an example of a new generation of school buildings - affordable, high quality, modular - which provide clean, renewable energy, new fixed long-term revenue streams, and are run at a fraction of the cost of the best traditional alternatives.   



Mike Eames

Parliamentary press officer

Office of Caroline Lucas MP

Mobile: 07590 050 565

Email: mike.eames@greenparty.org.uk

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