Bideford College Classroom Wing no

The completed Bideford College

Bideford College

The Centre provided advice on both environmental and acoustic specifications for Bideford College.  The replacement college building was a £55 million project funded by the Building Schools for the Future initiative.  The initial design for the school won the ‘Most Sustainable School’ category at the prestigious Excellence in BSF awards.

On the environmental side, input was provided on the optimum orientation of the design and form of the buildings.  The concept that emerged was to place circulation spaces on the south facade of classroom wings, and the classrooms themselves on the north facade.  The circulation spaces are self-heating through solar gain, reducing the energy requirements of the building.  In these areas, air is able to circulate between storeys, and ventilation is provided by automatically controlled windows.  The classrooms benefit from cross-flow ventilation, achieved using manually operable windows and ventilation ducts that pass through the corridors.  Thermal mass, provided in the form of exposed concrete soffits and floor slabs, helps to reduce overheating and store heat overnight.  Advice was also provided on daylighting of the spaces, and performance of the mechanical ventilation systems.

On the acoustic side, the design philosophy was developed alongside the environmental modelling to minimise conflicts.  This led to the development of the ventilation strategy described above and the provision of sound absorbing rafts in the classrooms.  Each aspect of the design (except for mechanical services noise) was assessed for compliance with Building Bulletin 93.  During the construction phase, three visits were made to assess acoustic performance, and where necessary remedial works were conducted to address defects.  A final set of tests were conducted just after the building had been handed over to the school.

Further information is available on the new school website.

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