The Royal Alexandra and Albert School is committed to minimising its impact on the environment. This commitment reaches many areas of school life ranging from the Travel Plan and paper recycling to building projects.

Sixth Form Annexes

As part of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School's environmental strategy, the boarding house annexes were designed with strong emphasis on energy efficiency, incorporating water saving strategies and maximising the use of passive energy by exposing thermal mass where possible. Careful consideration was given to the building fabric to limit heat loss during the winter. Furthermore, only highly rated sustainable materials were used in the construction of the annexes.

The design was developed to maximise the use of daylight within each space to create a well-lit and stimulating environment for the students. The majority of the spaces within the annexes are naturally ventilated where possible during the summer months. The general principle is that air is supplied by the mechanical ventilation system to the bedrooms, and that it will pass under the bathroom doors to be extracted within the bathroom space.

In addition to energy metering as required by building regulations, a temperature display is attached to the solar tanks to increase student awareness. A comparison study has also been produced investigating the energy consumption in the new annexes compared to that of the existing accommodation. The monitoring has been designed to allow students access to information on energy use and solar hot water production. Energy used/produced meters will be displayed in a prominent location in a student area.

Reducing Energy Usage

In 2011 the School invested over £650,000 in new heating and lighting systems in order to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions. The introduction of zoning valves and controls prevents the school buildings from heating during weekends and overnight and has reduced usage by around 48%. This reduced energy usage has saved the School over £100,000 per year and the lighting upgrade which includes high efficiency lamps and dimming controls saves the School around £50,000 per year.

Travel Plan

The Travel Plan outlines how the school has taken steps to reduce the number of car journeys to bring children to and from school.

  • Supported by the Sustrans 'Bike It' programme we have put in place measures to encourage children to cycle to school.
  • To make it safer for children to come to school on foot and by bike, the school has funded a 'Toucan' crossing on Gatton Park Road and this was been warmly welcomed by parents.
  • The school set up minibus services to bring children to school from Banstead, Caterham, Reigate and Redhill.

The result of these measures has been a reduction in the % of students coming to school by car. We regularly review our travel plan to ensure we take every opportunity to reduce car journeys.