TV’s Brian Cox opens London’s first ‘eco’ school building in the East End

Stebon Primary's new 'eco' school building and [inset] Prof Brian Cox

Stebon Primary's new 'eco' school building and [inset] Prof Brian Cox - Credit: TH Council

Another 240 places have been created with the opening of London’s first ‘eco’ school building by TV’s Professor Brian Cox.

The expanded Stebon Primary in London’s desperately-overcrowded East End meets the much sought-after Passivhaus standard of eco-friendly architecture.

“Building an environment like Stebon allows you to do wonderful things like being a scientist,” Prof Cox told the assembly when he visited the school on Mile End’s Burdett Estate.

“There is a shortage of people wanting to be scientists or engineers, and it’s schools such as Stebon that allow young people the foundations to go on to bigger and better things.”

The £5.5 million complex has super insulation in an air-tight building envelope, with its mechanical ventilation system and highly efficient heat recovery, triple-glazed insulated windows and a south-façade brickwork with an overhang to deflect sunlight from classrooms in the summer.

The school is run by husband-and-wife team Jo Franklin and Jeremy Iver.

Jo said: “There’s no better way to teach children about looking after the environment than to be taught in a building that lives and breathes that ‘message’.”

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Indoor air quality is better and there is more daylight—all shown to make children more attentive and to improve learning.

Stebon’s expansion from two-form entry to three form raises the number of 480 places to 720, helping Tower Hamlets cope with an East End population set to rise by another 20,000 over the next dsecade.

The new block has created extra classrooms and office space, while the refurbishment of the existing buildings includes a new kitchen extension to the main hall, new staff area and classrooms.

A multi-use games area has also been laid out, available to local community groups in the evenings, weekends and in school holidays.