Prendergast Vale College, Lewisham, London

Project details
Architect: HKR Architects
Contractor: Lucas Fit Out
Town: Lewisham

Built on the site of the former Lewisham Bridge Primary School, the new Prendergast Vale College has opened for the start of the 2012/2013 academic year. The College is intended for all ages, from nursery though to age 16, with a capacity of 835 made up of 25 full-time nursery, 210 primary and 600 secondary pupils.

The complex consists of 6 separate units designed to facilitate the integration from nursery through primary to secondary whilst providing separate and secure spaces both inside and outside.

The original school building which received Grade II Listing “as an outstanding example of Edwardian school architecture”, with English Heritage particularly praising its interior, has been carefully incorporated into the overall design and now provides the College’s imposing main entrance, Reception, Library, Art Department and Sculpture Garden, linking seamlessly with its contemporary surroundings.

The building needed sympathetic refurbishment and adaptation for the present day and the imposing single glazed windows presented a significant challenge for the College’s energy efficiency targets. As secondary glazing is a reversible adaptation acceptable to heritage bodies and can markedly improve window insulation levels, HKR Architects together with main contractor Costain’s sub-contractor Lucas Fit Out, consulted with Selectaglaze, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of secondary glazing systems.

Selectaglaze proposed a range of treatments that complemented the designs of the existing windows whilst providing access for ventilation and cleaning. Low emissivity glass was recommended as it can reduce heat loss through traditional windows by up to 60%. High performance seals were also recommended in order to markedly reduce draughts.

Selectaglaze installed nearly 200 secondary windows, mostly vertical sash, some with arched heads. All were finished in white powder paint.

An additional bonus from the installation of secondary windows is the high levels of noise insulation, typically 40-45dB. The large airy rooms now provide a comfortable, draught-free, quiet environment, conducive to learning.

Founded in 1966, Royal Warrant holder Selectaglaze has developed a wide range of secondary windows for Acoustics, Energy Performance and Security.