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Article Date: 4th September 2015

Gilberts - Helping Optimise Integration of Building with Environment

Natural Ventilation - Air Distribution - Ventilation Systems - Ventilation Louvres

Gilberts The Priory

A £11+million commitment by Croydon London Borough Council to achieving better outcomes for its children with special needs has been spearheaded with the opening of a new school that blends education with the local environment.

The Priory SEN takes inspiration from its location in woodland; thus the BREEAM ‘very good’ rated three-storey, 3000m² building features natural ventilation, supplied to main contractor Leadbitter, a Bouygues UK company, by Gilberts of Blackpool.

Gilberts’ WHZ50 glazed in louvres with high efficiency insulated dampers and attenuators enable cross ventilation: fresh air is drawn in through the window louvres into the 16 classrooms along the front facade, and exhausted through vents integrated into the rooflights at the back- and higher level- of the school. Each glazed-in louvre unit delivers Class A weather performance and at least 40% free ventilation area.

The attenuation in Gilberts’ louvres further helped the blending of education and environment, reducing noise ingress from traffic outside, which can be an issue for children in the autism spectrum.

The louvres have been integrated into the building management system to achieve optimum energy efficiency balanced with air quality and temperature.

The natural ventilation strategy, in line with Department for Education guidelines and the Council’s preference, is an accepted contribution towards BREEAM rating; Gilberts’ glazed-in louvres are among the most energy efficient available, with a U value of 1.6W/m²°C- equivalent to a standard sealed double-glazed unit - thus further contributing towards the ‘very good’ energy efficiency requirement of the building.

Joe Skilton, Quantity Surveyor at Bouygues UK said, , “ The school enables local children living in Croydon and with special needs to be educated within the borough, rather than having to travel outside the area. The design has been mindful of its woodland setting, and the use of natural ventilation compliments that approach.”

Gilberts of Blackpool is the UK’s leading air movement specialist. All Gilberts’ systems are engineered to order, in the UK. Founded 50 years ago, privately owned Gilberts is unique in having its own, on-site (70,000ft²) manufacturing, producing engineered solutions, with an in-house test centre and CFD facilities. Technical expertise is supported by bespoke software developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, addressing air movement and flow simulation/computation fluid dynamics.

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