Lowestoft Sixth Form College

Faithful+Gould are commissioned to carry out a BREEAM Assessment and provide sustainability advice as part of the design team for a new 8,027m2 Sixth Form College building at the existing Lowestoft College. The Sixth Form College is a new 4-storey building housing approximately 950 students (primarily 16-18 years old) and approximately 50 staff. The teaching departments to be accommodated include: Art, Creative Media, Technology; Science; Maths, English, Humanities, Music, Dance and Drama. Works to be completed 2012.

Sustainability was central to the design of the new Lowestoft 6th Form College. The design team used thermal modelling, daylight modelling and energy demand modelling to refine the design through various iterations, and ensure that it was meeting sustainable performance expectations. The building is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating.

The challenge was to retain the sustainable design features proposed in the original proposal despite economic constraints. Modelling was conducted to demonstrate the energy savings that the earth ducts would deliver by reducing heating and cooling loads to ensure that this innovative feature of the building's ventilation system was retained. The glazed Atrium roof-lights were redesigned to ensure optimum daylight levels in the central Atrium space, while realising savings in a more efficient structure. As well as preventing solar gains to the classrooms.

The building has high levels of thermal insulation, with low ‘u-values' and good airtightness. It makes extensive use of natural daylight, and external shading optimises the balance between daylight and solar gains. Underground ‘Earthducts' increase incoming air temperatures in Winter and provide cool air in Summer, motorised classroom windows and wind cowls above the central atrium provide ‘free' night cooling & natural ventilation, motorised classroom windows and wind cowls above the central atrium provide ‘free' night cooling and natural ventilation, roof mounted solar panels generate clean electricity. Green Guide ‘A rated' materials, Forest Stewardship Council Certified timber and low volatile organic compound emissions materials will be used. Water efficient fixtures are fitted throughout. Leak detection and digital water meters ensure water is not wasted. Faithful+Gould produces award winning, innovative sustainability and carbon management solutions, always maximising sustainability within project constraints.

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