Press releases


Fagerhult lights BREEAM Excellent school.

One of the lowest carbon primary schools in the UK opened recently with the lighting supplied by Fagerhult. The eco-friendly design of Dartington CE Primary School and Nursery in Totnes, Devon, enables energy savings through a combination of natural daylight, energy-efficient lighting and lighting controls and is one of a handful of schools to achieve a BREEAM rating of excellence.

The 420-pupil school has 14 single-storey classrooms each orientated to allow daylight to enter through angled rooflights. Electric lighting is provided by dimmable, 54W T5 fluorescents with a cool colour temperature close to that of daylight. In total there are 156 Fagerhult DTI Type 2 pendant luminaires with Beta parabolic reflector louvres for even light distribution.

The system responds to daylight levels so that it adjusts when the weather is overcast or days are shorter, and presence detectors ensure that lights are switched off when the rooms are unoccupied. Teachers are also able to control the lighting in different parts of the rooms.

‘Usually if you have a lot of windows you get glare and in a school this is even more difficult because teachers are using white boards and projectors,’ says Anne-Francoise Hayman of Arup, the project’s electrical engineer. ‘But here we have switches that let them dim each row individually so that the children can both see the whiteboard and take notes.’ The £6m school is almost entirely built of wood and, according to designer White Design, has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating. Energy consumption displays on the walls encourage economy by showing the effects of using fewer lights.

Fagerhult wire pendant fittings were specified on both performance and aesthetic grounds. ‘They’re pretty discreet and are very smart from a visual point of view,’ said Andrew Docherty, design team leader of White Design.