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ENVIRONMENT

The building services design was driven by the need to minimise capital costs and maintenance while creating an energy-efficient design.

The starting point was tailoring the proportion of transparent and opaque panels in the facade to maximise daylight and solar gain in winter, while preventing excessive heat gain in summer. In analysing this, account was taken of the overshadowing of adjacent buildings in addition to the sun path. The heating requirement is small enough to be provided by electric perimeter heating only. All windows have internal roller blinds.

Some cooling is still required in the classrooms due to the density of people and ICT equipment, which was provided by incorporating a water spray in the air-handling plant, offering evaporative cooling and thereby avoiding the need for an external chiller. This overall strategy has the added benefit that there are no circulating water systems within the building, which reduces the amount of pipework and subsequent maintenance costs.

Services distribution within the space is kept to a minimum and is primarily in the raised floor, which provides both a route for electrical power distribution and a plenum for the supply air.

Air is removed from the space through high-level grilles in the walls. In order not to compromise the design of the exposed timber roof, containment for lighting, fire alarm and security distribution is between the timber ply and the roof membrane in the roof insulation.

Staff WCs are located on the ground floor. To avoid extensive demolition of the suspended ground-floor slab, pumped drainage was adopted, which also allowed a faster construction process.

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