Use of sustainable strategies supplied by Passivent Ltd has helped attain a ‘very good’ assessment and improve health and wellbeing for pupils.

West Sussex County Council contracted W Stirland to design and build eight new classrooms and a school library for Durrington Middle School in Worthing, to provide contemporary, compliant facilities for the school’s 400 pupils, with a key criterion that the project was designed to the principles of  achieving ‘very good’ under the BREEAM standard, in line with Council policy for best practice in sustainable development, and complied with appropriate Building Regulations, especially Part L (conservation of fuel and power).

W Stirland’s solution, in conjunction with M&E contractor Upton McGoogan, was to install five Passivent Airscoop natural ventilation units linked to a zone temperature and CO2 control panel, and 10 x 530mm Sunscoop tubular rooflights with light attenuating dampers across the roof of the single-storey 645m2 development. The natural ventilation and natural daylight have helped the new facilities achieve the ‘very good’ ratings required in initial assessment to the BREEAM standard, under both Energy and Health & Wellbeing criteria.

The Passivent Airscoop uses a roof mounted terminal divided diagonally into four chambers. Wind from any direction is channelled down through the windward chambers into the building at low velocity, and displacing the warm, “used” air out through the leeward chambers. The system optimises lifetime costs, by harnessing natural variations in air pressure and temperature to function, using minimal electricity without fans and associated ongoing maintenance issues and costs.

The Passivent control panel enables the ventilation and air quality to be finitely controlled, to ensure appropriate levels of air flow to maintain a comfortable, fresh environment, and without the potentially distracting noise of fans turning on and off.

The Passivent Sunscoop tubular rooflights form one element of Passivent’s range of natural lighting solutions for schools. The Sunscoops optimise natural light in darker areas, ‘catching’ daylight through a roof-mounted glazed dome and reflecting it down highly silvered tubing into the room below, providing diffused daylight without solar glare. The light attenuating dampers fitted at Durrington enable teaching staff to control the amount of daylight into the teaching area as required.

Research by the SILSOE Institute shows that 530mm dia Sunscoop yields up to eight times more light than a standard single 60W bulb (13w low energy lamp), without any energy consumption.

Passivent is part of the Building Product Design Group, and is the UK’s leading supplier of natural ventilation systems for both domestic and commercial applications.

The company is a founder member of the NatVent EC/EU-funded project co-ordinated by the Building Research Establishment to develop practical natural ventilation solutions for the commercial sector, and has contributed to the BISRIA guide BG2/2005 Wind Driven Natural Ventilation Systems, as well as being members of the DCSF steering committee on ventilation guidance for schools, Building Bulletin 101.

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