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WINDOWMASTER HELPS PUPILS AT NEW CRAWLEY SCHOOL BREATHE EASY

A new £19 million secondary school in Crawley, West Sussex, features a natural ventilation and window control system designed and supplied by WindowMaster (www.windowmaster.co.uk).

The new 8,000 square meter St Wilfrid’s School is designed to cater for 1,000 pupils. It is being built in a partnership between consultants Halcrow Yolles, Curl la Tourelle Architects, West Sussex County Council and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Due for completion in May 2009, the project has involved extensive consultation between students, staff and governors, representatives from surrounding parishes and feeder primary schools.

The design features a curved general teaching block with a double-height corridor with bridge links and an atrium dining area that wraps around a central courtyard linking to a sports and performing arts wing in one continuous circulation route. Pivotal to the whole scheme is the chapel that marks the school entrance.

Guy Shackle, architect with Curl la Tourelle, said: “We chose WindowMaster because the system compliments Velfac windows that were specified. These were selected because the motors and wires controlling them are fitted inside the frames and cannot be seen.

“With other aluminium windows the motors and wires are surface mounted and can be unsightly and create a negative visual impact on the overall design of the building.”

Consulting engineer with Halcrow Yolles Melanie Buckley added: “WindowMaster’s NV Advance natural ventilation system was selected because it uses natural rather than mechanical ventilation to provide a climate controlled environment making it sustainable and cost effective in terms of the amount of energy it saves.”

WindowMaster, Europe’s largest provider of natural ventilation and smoke detection solutions, was also chosen to provide the window automation system for the St Wilfrid’s School because of its ability to provide a complete installation, in particular the central computer control system. In addition, the installation includes motors, window actuators, various sensors and a weather station to control natural and smoke ventilation systems in 80 zones.

The weather station monitors external conditions around buildings, including wind direction and speed, temperature and rain fall. Changes in wind pressure on the facades are also modelled. These parameters are programmed into the computer control system where they are analysed along with readings taken from the weather station and sensors fitted internally. Windows around the building are then precisely controlled and positioned to keep air quality within rooms fresh and the temperature constant.

During the summer nights, the natural ventilation system takes advantage of the building’s structure to reduce the internal temperature for the following the day. This is achieved by the exposed concrete ceilings in the rooms, which act as a heat sink during the day. When the building is purged with cool night-time air, this heat is removed, leaving the ceilings ready to absorb the next day’s gains.

WindowMaster’s NV Advance™ window automation system is the only system in Europe that intelligently monitors windows to prevent entrapment as an integrated function of the motor and control system. It can provide almost failsafe security against the possibility of injury while windows are closing.

If an object, or hands or fingers, becomes trapped in a window and prevents it from closing the amount of current drawn by the motor instantly increases. This is detected by the microprocessor which immediately reverses the motor to release the window, therefore preventing the possibility of serious injury.

The system can be retrofitted on many existing windows as well as being installed on new buildings. It can operate on a broad range of window types, including top and bottom opening, sliding and parallel opening. The system can also be used on windows for heat and smoke ventilation.
 

Email: johnh@smye-holland.com


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