Gilberts engineers natural ventilation for engineering centre
A comprehensive natural-ventilation strategy devised by Gilberts of Blackpool serves the £5.4 million Hethel Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Centre in Norfolk. This 3720 m2 facility contains 16 workshops with adjoining office space on the first floor for high-performance engineering and manufacturing companies in the region.
In line with the requirements of project consultant NPS, the natural-ventilation strategy uses a combination of passive-stack and cross-flow ventilation on the two floors of the building. Boost fans and acoustic splitters ensure air quality without noise transfer is maintained throughout the building.
The scale and design of the building required exacting engineering from Gilberts. The five ‘penthouse’ roof terminals are up to 20 m long, and the use of interlocking cladding for the walls required the interlocking detail to be mimicked in the wall ventilation louvres.
Gilberts met the brief by designing over 50 WH50 louvres with interface detail for the ground floor. They admit fresh air at low level, and it is extracted at high level via the rooftop penthouse terminals. Strategically positioned boost fans draw the fresh air throughout the building, with the incoming cooler air causing the ‘used’ warm internal air to rise and vent.
NPS engineering manager David Buxton commented, ‘Natural ventilation provided the most cost-effective, sustainable solution for providing ventilation to the space. Gilberts, with its in-house design and manufacturing capability, was able to engineer a solution that delivered the BREEAM compliance required, and seamlessly integrated with the building architecture.’