The Montessori Place Primary School, Uckfield


Annan Court in Uckfield is undergoing a gradual refurbishment by The Montessori Place in order to be used as a school. The site is set in beautiful protected woodland near farmland and is believed to have the largest walled garden in Sussex. The buildings on this site were built in the late 19th century. They currently burn oil and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for heating. They are poorly insulated buildings that have old, inefficient lighting.

BHESCo is working with The Montessori Place on a building-to-building basis, funding improvements as the buildings are refurbished. The first phase of improvements are targeting the old LPG heating system of one of the buildings, installing efficient under-floor heating to heat classrooms more efficiently, and removing the use of fossil fuels completely by installing an air-source heat pump. The school will use a lot of electricity so we’re putting solar panels on the roof straight away to ensure that some of the work can be powered by renewable energy.

The Technology:

* 27kW photovoltaic solar array. With individual panel monitoring to ensure the best output of electricity.
* Daikin air-source heat pump. Heat pumps are amazingly efficient, for every unit of electricity this heater uses, it will produce around three units of heat for the classrooms.
* Under-floor heating. Instead of using radiators that produce heat around the outside of the rooms which rushes up to the ceiling, under-floor heating uses less energy to heat the space near the floor that’s used by the children.
* LED lighting. LEDs less energy than filament or fluorescent lighting because they emit less heat and fewer non-visible frequencies.

Quote from the directors of The Montessori Place Land School:

“Our intention has been to shape aspects of our curriculum around the question of energy supply and energy demand. BHESco have been working with us to invest in renewable energy systems including energy consumption monitors, and the design of a curriculum to match. Children spend half their life in school. Their daily experiences at school shape their world views, for better or for worse. It is our conviction that, as a school, we have an obligation to invest in renewables so that the children we serve grow up exposed to these as practical, realistic and every-day alternatives to fossil fuels.”

BHESCo will own these systems for fifteen years during which we’ll maintain the equipment and ensure that we’re generating the maximum savings for The Montessori Place.


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