Controlled windows will provide natural ventilation for new college

WindowMaster, natural ventilation
WindowMaster is supplying and installing an automated window-control system for the new South Cheshire College. (Photo: Jefferson Sheard Architects)

A WindowMaster automated window-control system will provide natural ventilation for the new £57 million South Cheshire College, due for completion in September 2010. The 26 500 m2 building is based on a village street, with departments functioning almost as shop fronts, which are covered with a glass and copper ‘skin’ to create light and space.

Matthew Cotton, association director of building engineering with consultants AECOM, explains, ‘Natural ventilation was chosen, as the college is keen to promote environmental design — including reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions. Natural ventilation offers a zero-carbon form of ventilation — with the added benefit of night cooling to mitigate the use of mechanical cooling systems.’

The NV Advance window automation system includes the supply of 732 motors controlling windows in 150 zones around the building, sensors in each zone and a computerised control system. The natural ventilation included high-level exhaust through roof lights behind the central atrium and automated louvres at low level.

WindowMaster’s regional sales manager Gino DeLaroche says, ‘The key challenge in this project is to ensure that the natural-ventilation system interfaces with the heat-recovery and air-handling units around the building to ensure they operate only when absolutely necessary. The system also needed to interface with fans that were installed in certain areas.

‘Data is collected from sensors in each of the rooms and sent via the computer control system back to all the heat recovery and air-handling units and fans to carefully control them.’

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