Dapto High School welcomes another Hivve – Introducing the new Hivve Wollemi

Our new Hivve Wollemi at Dapto High School is an inclusive built environment designed specifically for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As Dapto’s High School’s second Hivve, it operates entirely off-grid, cementing the school’s position as a leader in sustainability.

Dapto High School’s Wollemi Unit specialises in educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Following a request for the Wollemi Unit to offer an additional class for the 2019 school year, Principal Andrew FitzSimons approached Hivve about the possibility of building a Hivve classroom designed to support ASD learning.

“Given that we had already had such success piloting the innovative Hivve modular classroom in 2018, it was my view that a Hivve classroom would be the ideal learning environment for children with special needs,” he said.

With support from School Infrastructure NSW, a new Hivve Wollemi was designed, built and commissioned at the school ready for the start of Term 1, 2019.

Hivve worked carefully with teachers from Dapto High School’s Wollemi Unit to ensure that the new classroom was designed with the particular needs of the students in mind.

“Our design incorporated many of the proven Hivve features—high ceilings, abundant natural light, excellent acoustic qualities, natural and warm finishes, and large covered decks. But we also made some modifications after working collaboratively with the school’s specialist teachers from the Wollemi Unit, because they are the experts,” said David Wrench, Executive Director of Hivve.

In order to avoid the high cost of connecting the new classroom to the schools’ electricity network, the Hivve Wollemi was designed to be energy self-sufficient and operate completely off-grid.

“The off-grid solution was based on our experience with Australia’s first off-grid Hivve classroom in Brisbane, which has been operating successfully since mid 2018,” said Mr Wrench. “It was also in keeping with the school’s ethos to improve sustainability practices across the school.”

All Hivve Wollemi’s electrical systems, including air conditioning, are powered by a 5.1kW solar PV system combined with a Tesla Powerwall 2. The Hivve iQ in-classroom dashboard gives teachers live data on internal and external temperatures as well as air quality, enabling them to actively monitor and manage the indoor environment for optimal learning.

“All students deserve to have a fulfilling and productive school life. We are confident that the new Hivve Wollemi will provide the best environment for our students with ASD. We have received a lot of positive feedback from students and teachers about our first Hivve and the whole school community is excited about having our first off-grid Hivve classroom—it’s important for the students to see the power of renewable energy first-hand,” said Mr FitzSimons.