Gilberts delivers natural ventilation for Cambridge boathouse
Natural ventilation for the new £3.5 million boathouse for Gonville & Caius College at the University of Cambridge is delivered by bespoke terminals designed and engineered by Gilberts Blackpool. Designed by bb+c architects with services designed by Max Fordham LLP, the system has six Mistrale 75 penthouse roof terminals.
The boathouse on Ferry Path puts it in the River Cam conservation area, thus the design reflects the historic setting. There is space for 30 boats, a gym, changing rooms and a specialist boat workshop.
Five of the terminals provide natural ventilation for the main boathouse space and have dampers to control the airflow as required, regardless of weather. Opening rooflights maximise summertime ventilation.
The sixth terminal serves as a duct for the MVHR unit serving the changing rooms and showers, where additional ventilation is required to address the additional moisture.
Carl Brookes, engineer/partner at Max Fordham, explains, ‘We examined a number of cooling options. Detailed environmental modelling was used to predict what the typical summer internal conditions might be achieved with a polished concrete floor and exposed blockwork walls, in tandem with a suitably-sized natural ventilation system.
‘The modelling suggested the 18°C target for a conditioned gymnasium wouldn’t be achieved with just natural ventilation on an especially hot day. However, it was felt the environmental benefits of a natural-ventilation strategy outweighed the finite degree of temperature control available by using air conditioning. A couple of large fans have been included to enhance air movement if necessary.
‘We have a good working relationship with Gilberts, and knew the company could deliver a system that would work, and had the ability and capability, in-house, to develop bespoke terminals that complemented the building’s architecture and design.’