Discreet ventilation helps win RIBA award
Discreet but effective ventilation is a key part of the design for the St John Bosco Arts College in Liverpool, which won last year’s RIBA North West Award. The original idea was to use floor-standing displacement ventilation terminals for this massive ‘hangar’-style open-plan facility, but the architect, BDP, felt they would be too intrusive. A second proposal involved multiple jet nozzles to ventilate the space, but BDP was concerned about their unsightly appearance. The team then turned to Ruskin Air Management’s Jason Laugharne, who proposed slot diffusers.
The college has become a landmark in the surrounding housing estate because of its size, bright colours and unusual design. It offers a tremendous feeling of space, with few physical barriers between teaching and activity areas.
Ruskin’s Flowbar Jet Throw linear diffuser offers a performance that is similar to a jet nozzle, so it can ventilate very large spaces — but without the unsightly appearance. They can also be plastered into walls.
Each of the slots, which are made in the UK by Air Diffusion, are 2 m long and have varying sizes of plenum box behind them. They ventilate the larger open spaces.
Individual dance studios are served by fixed-blade swirl diffusers. The dance studio also has high-level swirl diffusers providing ventilation from 6 m above the floor.
The college was built by Vinci Construction.