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Whitefield School, Walthamstow YRM

working details

The school, a two-storey concrete frame structure, has classrooms on ground and first floors and a flat roof which is used as a playground, protected by a raised parapet and a row of perforated aluminium screens.

The classrooms are fully glazed with a polyester powder-coated aluminium curtain-wall system to give light and view. Double-glazed sliding doors lead out, on the first floor to a balcony, and on the ground floor to a play court. They are enclosed by 1650mm-high steel safety railings of 50mm and 30mm steel flats. Solar gain is reduced by horizontal screens of aluminium flats.

The screens, balconies and railings are fixed to a framework of 114mm diameter chs columns at 3.375m centres, welded with cleats to which are bolted 178 x 102mm universal beams. The self-supporting columns are restrained by brackets which pass through glazing mullions and internal sleeves to be anchored and fire-protected at floor and roof slabs.

To achieve a 'barrier-free' threshold between the classroom and the balcony (for children using wheelchairs), the sliding-door threshold is set flush with finished floor level; the junction with the balcony floor is made by a steel perimeter grating set above a series of support angles, which allows rainwater to drain away from the door opening.

At roof level a curved screen of aluminium flats protects the playground from solar gain and wind. The screen, and the edges of the perforated aluminium panels, are bolted to the projecting cleats of pairs of brackets welded to the tops of the columns.

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