Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 12:55 UK

Pupils to heat 'Weetabix school'

Schoolchildren - generic
Children will warm the school using their own body heat, it is claimed

Construction work has started at the site of what has been dubbed the "Weetabix school".

Architects behind the 5.8m primary say it will be so well insulated that the pupils' bodies will provide the heat once they have had their breakfast.

It will replace Acharacle Primary School in Ardnamurchan, on the west coast of Scotland, which has fallen into a poor state.

The timber superstructure is coming from Austria.

Highland councillor Michael Foxley said it would be the most sustainable school in Scotland, but conceded it would not be cheap to build.

SCHOOL FACT FILE
The new primary is due to open in 2009
It will have five classrooms, one of which will be for shared community use
A nursery, multi-purpose hall, dining facility, music practice rooms and changing rooms will also be built

He said: "The difference between this type of building construction and others is that has a high level of energy insulation, which creates a very safe non-toxic environment for people to live and work in the building.

"It's not a cheap project because of its location, but it is a forerunner of future sustainable projects from which we will learn a lot.

"There is currently no capability within Scotland to produce this type of mass timber construction."

However, the councillor hoped the capability could be gained locally to create jobs in the future.

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Architect explains how the building insulates

Architect Sam Foster said the materials being used in its construction were environmentally-friendly.

He said: "The building itself has been designed to be incredibly efficient.

"It's very well insulated and airtight, which stops heat getting out."

Head teacher Lyndsay Bradley said the old school was no longer fit for the job.

She said: "Conditions are awful. The children and staff have to put up with an awful lot - the doors are coming off and the ceilings come down."


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