Windcatchers solve natural-ventilation problem for new school

Monodraught, Windcatcher, natural ventilation
Natural ventilation for the central ‘street’ and ground-floor classrooms of this school in Leatherhead is provided by Monodraught Windcatchers.

Among the main environmental strategies for a new school in Leatherhead is natural ventilation provided by Monodraught Windcatchers throughout. Leatherhead Trinity is a 2765 m2 primary school that replaces one junior and two local infant schools. It accommodates 390 pupils and also houses a 150 m2 area for special educational needs, a language unit and offices for Surrey Arts.

The school is organised around a central, top-lit double-height street running the entire length of the buildings. The street is a creative space in its own right, providing an efficient way of getting from one room to another.

The ground-floor classrooms and internal street are naturally ventilated using 15 roof-mounted Wind­catchers to provide a reliable means of main­taining comfort­able temp­eratures during the day and secure cooling by night.

The decision to naturally ventilate the building was taken early. The strategy was relatively straight­forward for much of the scheme, but providing adequate ventilation for the street and ground-floor classrooms presented problems. Safety and security issues did not permit opening lights over the street, and opening windows could not be relied on to ventilate the rear of the single-aspect classrooms on the ground floor.

Accordingly, Windcatchers were specified for seven classrooms and a studio space on the ground floor, as well at the 60 m-long 6.8 m-high street.

The architect worked closely with Monodraught and used Tas thermal-modelling software to analyse the individual needs of the spaces and formulate a detailed natural-ventilation strategy based on Government guidelines and the requirements of the Building Regulations.

The Windcatchers are automatically controlled using Monodraught’s iNVent intelligent control system.

For more information on this story, click here: Feb10, 125
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