﻿Passivent helps arts centre to be in harmony with the environment
Natural ventilation without the intrusion of noise from an adjacent trunk road is provided for a new £4 million arts centre at Sidcot School in Somerset by a Passivent system.
The Passivent system exploits air moving across the roof to draw used, warm air that has risen naturally inside the building through strategically placed roof terminals.
Passivent Aircool units allow fresh air to enter the classrooms at low level on the ground floor, whilst attenuating external noise penetration.
On the first floor, bespoke ‘periscope’ units allow fresh air to enter. Used, warm air is extracted via a combination of high-level wall Aircool units and two roof-mounted Airstract units.
All units are connected to a Passivent central controller configured to provide eight zones — enabling the school to monitor and control ventilation according to external temperature, internal CO2 levels and operate a night-time cooling strategy. Electricity is only required to control inlets and outlets and for the control system.
Rob Barnes of HBS Architecture, which designed the new centre, says, ‘Natural ventilation was considered an integral part of the overall design to provide a healthy learning environment. As the new complex is located alongside the A38, traffic noise was a major consideration at the design stage, hence the decision to include acoustic attenuation. Natural Passivent ventilation is included throughout all teaching spaces, with other sustainable strategies including natural recyclable materials and extensive use of natural light.’
Passivent natural-ventilation systems are claimed to reduce energy consumption by up to 50% compared with air conditioning and capital costs by 15%. There is also a 75% saving in maintenance costs.