Thomas Vale Construction – Winner of a Business in the Community West Midlands START Award 2011


Business in the Community West Midlands START Award 2011 – Most Innovative New Product or Service


Thomas Vale Construction


Thomas Vale is a leading provider in Construction Services operating from Key Regional Centres in Stourport, Birmingham, Leamington, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.


In 2007 Thomas Vale Construction was awarded the contract to build a new £5.9 million facility for St Luke’s Primary School in Wolverhampton. Since then a vision has been held to achieve the Passivhaus standard, a new and innovative standard of building for the UK.

A Passivhaus building is designed and built in such a way that it uses up to 90% less energy for heating and cooling than standard buildings and, therefore, requires minimal traditional heating and doesn’t need expensive air conditioning systems.

The challenges

To achieve Passivhaus requires a change in culture, and a development of awareness with all key sub-contractors on the importance and significance of Key Performance Indicators, in particular air tightness.

The solutions

  • From inception the client and end users were involved in all pre-construction stages and continued this involvement throughout the construction process.
  • The timber frame and panels at St Luke’s were used to provide a superior air-tightness for the building, thereby significantly reducing energy usage in the building.
  • Energy saving features were installed including triple glazed windows, airtight construction, low energy lighting, natural ventilation, district heating, and high performance boilers.

The results

From the initial project awarded in 2007, Thomas Vale, along with a number of Supply Chain members, has adapted to a new way of working. Various training sessions and workshops have been held to enable these unique buildings to be built to the best standard.

Learning points

Using the experience gained from this project, Thomas Vale plans to adopt Passivhaus as a core approach to all projects. Their advice to others would be to involve all members of the Project Delivery Team from the start.

SWM comment

SWM encourages Thomas Vale in their aim to promote the experience and findings within the industry to spreading their knowledge of Passivhaus.


For enquires or further information email, or visit the Thomas Vale Construction website.