A new building brings an obvious environmental improvement with new, bright, well designed surroundings, but of course there's more to it than first meets the eye. The decor in the building has been managed by a colourways consultant to offer a stimulating learning environment with easy navigational and contextual colour cues to create the best conditions for lessons.
Student comfort is a high priority, and all areas of the building are designed with the use of the very latest architectural modelling software to predict acoustics, temperature and natural light. This allows the building to have a consistent environment with minimal energy usage. Ventilation is natural as far as possible, with every classroom window being an operating sash window which promotes natural airflow when required.
Our energy usage is partly offset by a solar farm on the roof of one of the blocks, out of sight of students and passers by, but working hard for us every day even when it is cloudy.
There are benefits to the local community too. As well as having access to brand new sports and drama facilities, local residents will benefit from the huge rainwater attentuation tank that is part of the building design. This is a massive underground water tank that acts as a holding reservoir during very heavy rain and reduces the rate of flow to the exernal drainage system. The result is that the school is designed to help reduce flash flooding in the local streets.
One small difference that makes a huge impact is that our three blocks are fully interconnected, which means students can get from any place in the school to any other place without having to go outside. This means that, unlike the current facilities, external doors will be opened far less frequently which reduces heat loss in winter months. It also means that the risk of the school being closed for snow days is much lower, as the grounds staff will have a much smaller outdoor area to clear to make the building operationally safe.