Students at Loughborough University’s recently completed East Park Design School building are being helped in their studies by an integrated natural ventilation system from SE Controls, which ensures that carbon dioxide (CO2) and is kept in check and indoor air quality levels are maintained.
Designed by Burwell Deakins Architects, the £14.7 million building uses informal design themes and layouts to create an ‘inspirational environment’ as well as providing practical work spaces, design studios, lecture theatres and workshops.
As with all learning environments, one of the key considerations for the design school was ensuring that levels remained within the appropriate limits to ensure that students’ abilities are not impaired by poor indoor air quality. Also, the building was conceived form the outset as a low carbon structure with minimum emissions, so utilises a range of energy efficient technologies including solar shading, insulated glazing and SE Controls’ natural ventilation solution.
The extensive natural ventilation control and actuation system was designed and installed by SE Controls to not only manage the CO2 levels, but also ensure the temperature within the building is maintained within comfortable limits by using precise incremental control over the entire natural ventilation system.
To achieve these key goals, SE Controls installed over 400 chain actuators over the ground, first and second floors to control high level vertical vents in laboratories, offices and study areas, as well as the design school’s workshops and computer room.
Automatic louvres are also installed in ground floor public areas and meeting rooms, to allow fresh air to enter the building, while a further 48 chain and linear actuators in the building’s extensive glazed atrium vents provide ventilation to the atrium space below.
The entire system is controlled by a series of SE Controls’ OS2 networked control units and an OS2 modular panel for the atrium vents, which are seamlessly linked into the buildings BMS. This not only monitors CO2 and temperature, but also signals the actuation of the vents and louvres to maintain the levels within the system’s upper and lower set points.
Darren Wainwright, SE Controls’ project leader on the East Park installation, explained: “The close relationship between CO2 levels and the performance of students in schools and other educational establishments is already well documented, so it’s vital that good indoor air quality is maintained. However, it’s equally important that heat losses are minimised during ventilation to avoid unnecessary use of energy to re-heat the building, which is why the operating algorithms and ventilation strategy deployed minimise energy consumption while maintaining excellent indoor air quality and comfortable temperatures.”
Loughborough University has also been closely involved with the development of SE Controls’ new ‘NVLogiQ’ compact natural ventilation control solution through a highly active knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) programme. The ongoing relationship, which has already been in place for more than two years, has enabled SE Controls to develop advanced energy saving operating algorithms to the current design standards and accepted best practice for its new generation of controllers, of which NVLogiQ is the first.SE Controls specialises in the design, project management installation and maintenance of advanced smoke ventilation and natural ventilation solutions to meet the needs of architects, contractors, building services engineers and facilities managers worldwide.