As the world continues to move towards renewable energy sources, schools are at the forefront of this movement. These types of energy are becoming increasingly popular, and affordable, as they offer several benefits both in terms of cost savings for the school and reduced environmental pollution. But when it comes to a school, the benefits even extend to the number of educational opportunities that come from this clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
The TEMS relocation project allows us to start from scratch, considering feedback from our community as well as the best practices that already exist in other schools in the Cognita educational group in Spain, and build a tailor-made building, adapted to our needs and our educational culture. This unique opportunity gives us the chance to consider how we can reflect our pedagogy, as well as our teaching and learning values, through a new building. If there was one thing that was clear to us from the very beginning of the project, it was that sustainability had to be present as one of the fundamental pillars.
That is why we are building the new TEMS building for students from 7 to 17 years old with a carefully studied sustainability strategy based on energy efficiency in the facilities, mainly through photovoltaic and aerothermal energy.
Installation of solar panels at Colegio Europeo de Madrid (Gonita Group), December 2022
The new TEMS building will have 114 solar panels of 540Wp each, providing an installed power of 61.56kW. The power demand of the new building is estimated at 585 kW. This means that approximately 10% will come from the photovoltaic installation.
In addition, the sustainability strategy applied to this new building includes an aerothermal system to produce domestic hot water (DHW). The system consists of 11 units, with a total DHW storage volume of 5,500 L in the building. The equipment to be installed in the new TEMS building are a thermodynamic system, based on heat pump systems with ambient energy use. The evaporator of this pump captures the ambient energy of the site and transmits it to the water to be heated through a heat exchanger or condenser. In this way, we follow, once again, the natural continuation of Discovery House. We built this building, where students from Nursery to Year 2 will stay, with F3-1 solar panels, which cover more than 60% of the current domestic hot water demand of the whole building, with an estimated consumption of about 730 L per day.
TEMS will thus comply with the quantification of the requirement established in the Technical Building Code. In total we will cover 72.7% of the energy demand with the installation of the planned heat pumps, when the requirement is – at least – 60%.
Caring for our planet
Beyond all the technical data, if there is one thing, we are sure of at TEMS, it is that our new school will be a great step forward in promoting sustainability values among our community.
We hope that our idea of constructing a sustainable and largely self-sufficient building will encourage our students to think about the importance of saving energy, caring for the planet and the value of renewable energy sources.
We are excited to see the positive impact that this new building will have on our students and the educational community as a whole.