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Rocking Horse Nursery

Sustainable Learning

BMJ Architects’ new nursery project is the first commercial Passivhaus project built in Scotland and the first building to combine Passivhaus and BREEAM Excellence. The new nursery, opened for the new term in August 2015, caters for 78 children and is situated in the grounds of the University of Aberdeen.

BMJ’s design addresses the complex relationship between the public and private areas of the building with a public entrance, clad in striking panels, sitting within a protected and private garden. The design was developed in close conjunction with all stakeholders enhancing the flexibility of the space and the capacity for future growth.


574 sqm


Aberdeen, UK


University of Aberdeen

Passivhaus is an innovative sustainable design strategy, one that minimises its impact upon the university environment, displays best practice within the campus domain and creates a stimulating and natural teaching environment to children. As a design standard for low energy buildings, Passivhaus employs the simple dynamic approach of superinsulation; airtightness and maximum solar gain to harness existing energy within the building. This energy, produced by the children and staff and their equipment reduces the requirement for heating by up to 75-90%. Along with these sustainability elements the building adopts energy efficient lighting and appliances, rainwater recycling and grey water for the toilets.

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