Solar-boosted natural ventilation proves its worth in Essex educational project

Monodraught, Sunpipe, Sola boost, wind catcher, natural ventilation
Eight Monodraught windCatcher systems with solar boost are a key part of the ventilation strategy in this Collaborative Learning Centre at Wickford in Essex.

The £3.5 million Collaborative Learning Centre on the site of Bromfords School in Essex at Wickford in Essex has its ventilation requirements met using Monodraught systems rather than opening windows. The centre was funded by Essex County Council and is a collaborative project created to provide access to technology that children would not normally have at school.

It provides high-tech music, art and IT facilities for use by Wickford’s 11 primary schools, one special school and the local community. Up to 120 children and their teachers use the facility every day.

The Monodraught system helped the centre comply with a number of noise restrictions place on the building, especially in spaces where large groups of people rehearse and develop plays and musical event.

The original plans to use solar power were changed, so the Monodraught Sola-boost ventilation units provided an opportunity to include solar power in the building specification by a different route. These units have already proved their worth in extended spells of hot weather by increasing the throughput of air as required.

Monodraught provided figures on air-change rates and other data for the specification, which reduced costs because the architect did not need to include trickle ventilation and was able to optimise the number of openable windows.

Eight WindCatcher Sola-boost natural-ventilation systems have been installed, with an iNVent natural-ventilation controller to monitor temperature and CO2 levels in the centre’s seven zones.

Centre manager Rachel Voller comments, ‘The Monodraught natural-ventilation system has already proved its effectiveness when the centre has been used as a conference venue for up to 50 delegates and hosted a performance of Shakespeare by a local secondary school, which attracted a large audience. We haven’t had any operational problems at all, and we are very pleased with it.’

For more information on this story, click here: February 2011, 131
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