A BASINGSTOKE primary school is leading the way in reducing its carbon footprint after opening a brand new eco building, which is the first of its kind in the town.

The building at St John’s Church of England Primary School, in Kingsmill Road, cost around £150,000 and was funded by the Local Infrastructure Fund, the Diocese and through funds raised by the school.

It was declared ready for use by the Bishop of Basingstoke, David Williams, who cut the ribbon, and will now be used as the school’s library and as a community space.

The environmentally friendly building was constructed offsite, eliminating the majority of the waste associated with traditional construction practices, and the clean energy generated by the integrated solar roof will create excess energy that will be used by the rest of the school.

It is also highly insulated, keeping it cool in the summer and warm during the winter months, and incorporates LED lighting to further reduce energy usage.

The facility was built by Net Zero Buildings Schoolhaus, which has developed numerous multi award-winning low energy education buildings.

Hayley Clayton, headteacher at St John’s, said: “Our fabulous new eco building will be a buzzing hub for education, fun and social activities, not just for our children but also for the community. The facility will be used by all ages, from the local nursery and toddler groups from our school community to residents from the nearby care home.”

She added: “As the only school in the area to create such a facility, we’re proud to be leading the way in reducing our carbon footprint whilst providing our children and community with such a fantastic new resource. We would like to welcome individuals, families and groups to visit our wonderful new eco building – please get in touch and come along to explore!”

The project was first conceived two years ago when the PTA agreed that pupils desperately needed an improved library facility due to their chronic space shortage.

Plans for the new eco building were approved under the school improvement plan.

Peter Jonson, managing director of Net Zero Buildings, said: “We are excited about the new eco building at St John’s primary as it represents the first of a new design in Schoolhaus buildings, utilising more glass and light with more solar shading.”