Gilberts Mistrale units are key to ventilation strategy of new school

Gilberts Blackpool. natural ventilation
Gilberts’ Mistrale ventilation units below classroom windows are a key part of the ventilation strategy for Aberdare Community School

The offsite manufacturing approach to building the new Aberdare Community extended to Gilberts’ through-the-wall Mistrale units being factory fitted into the precast concrete panels of the external facade. The Mistrale units are part of the ventilation strategy for the school.

Main contractor Laing O’Rourke with Crown House Technologies constructed the £30 million 1600-place school using offsite manufacturing to deliver a fast and cost-effective modular building.

Each Mistrale unit incorporates a damper, attenuator and heating coil. They are linked to a BMS and control and temper the air entering each classroom. Up to 8 l/s per person of fresh air can be delivers. The volume is reduced when appropriate to reduce pre-heating load in the winter.

A low-noise extract fan in the ceiling void draws ‘used’ air into the central atrium, where roof-mounted extract fans exhaust it at high level.

David Powell, head of corporate design and maintenance at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, explains, ‘In the classrooms, the low-level location of the Mistrale units and high-level extract on the opposite wall provides excellent ventilation effectiveness, helping reduce summertime temperatures.

‘It avoids large central air handling plant, and each classroom is effectively stand-alone.’

For more information on this story, click here: Nov 2014, 135
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