Renfrewshire Council Early Years


Renfrewshire Council are building four new Early Years facilities to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment of increasing the Early Learning and Childcare entitlement to 1,140 hours per year by August 2020.

Located in Paisley, Renfrew, Dargavel and Houston, the investment will deliver modern nurseries designed to exceed minimum energy standards.

The single storey buildings will adopt a ‘free-play’ approach to early learning, allowing children to move freely between indoor and outdoor environments.



With aspirations of creating new learning environments with a holistic approach to sustainability, Renfrewshire Council approached us at concept stage to support the development of the project brief.

Compliance with Silver Active Level under Section 7 of the Scottish Building Standards offered a cost-effective and deliverable target for this type and size of building; with aspects such as biodiversity, external learning spaces and woodland areas complimenting the ‘free-play’ approach that the nurseries will adopt.

We were responsible for managing this process and collating evidence for submission to Building Standards at warrant stage, ensuring compliance with all aspects of Silver Level.


We worked collaboratively with the design team to develop an efficient energy and sustainability strategy for the four facilities. Our remit was to develop an enhanced strategy by focussing on a fabric first approach to minimise heat loss.  This, together with the use of an air source heat pump, enabled us to achieve compliance with Silver Active Level under Section 7 (Sustainability) of the Building Standards.

Additional services provided included Approved Certifier of Design (Energy) certification, Building Regulation Compliance through the provision of SBEM Calculations, Planning Energy Statements and building physics modelling to ensure a high performing internal environment as described below: 


Natural Daylight

Climate Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM) was performed to ensure occupied areas were provided with elevated levels of daylight. This method is more advanced that the ‘daylight factor’ metric as it considers the building’s orientation, surface reflectances, glare control and solar position throughout the year.


Indoor Air Quality

Long durations of high CO2 concentrations (produced by respiration) are known to have a detrimental effect on occupant’s health and well-being, causing drowsiness and the reduced ability to concentrate. An assessment was carried out to ensure that the natural ventilation strategy was sufficient enough to control indoor air quality.


Thermal Comfort

A thermal comfort study was undertaken to inform the natural ventilation strategy for minimising the risk of summertime overheating in current and future climates. This assessment was performed against the industry’s best-practice methodology – CIBSE TM52.

Design Team

Renfrewshire Council
Local Authority
Renfrewshire Council