Passmores Academy in Harlow is using a natural ventilation system from leading smoke and natural ventilation specialist, SE Controls, to provide a comfortable and stimulating learning environment for pupils while helping to reduce the school’s carbon footprint.
Designed by Jestico & Whiles and constructed by Wilmott Dixon, the £23 million school provides places for 1200 students and uses an innovative design where five arms radiate from a 2.5 storey elliptical atrium ‘hub’, allowing access to the flexible teaching facilities and recreation areas from the common central area.
A range of low impact design features and sustainable technologies have been incorporated in the BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rated school, including solar shading, biomass boilers and energy efficient glazing together with the use of a natural ventilation strategy to improve and mange indoor air quality while reducing the need for mechanical cooling.
To provide the level of control and flexibility required for the school’s natural ventilation system to operate effectively within the pre-defined set points, SE Controls supplied and installed 7 OS2 control panels to operate the rooflights, atrium louvres and entrance screens.
In addition, the company also supplied and installed the rooflight and window actuators through specialist glazing contractor, English Architectural Glazing and were responsible for commissioning the complete natural ventilation system, which is interfaced with the school’s building management and fire safety system.
SE Controls’ Project Manager, Darren Wainwright, explained: “Indoor air quality in schools is a vital consideration as it not only manages the temperature within the building, but more importantly, the level of carbon dioxide present, which has been proven to reduce learning ability if it exceeds pre-defined national guidelines. Even the classrooms have CO2 monitors fitted so that the level can be monitored and windows can be manually opened, if required.”
He added: “By incorporating natural ventilation and linking our control panels to the BMS, Passmores Academy can not only ensure that the air quality and environment is effectively managed but also that the energy costs are kept in check.”