Collaboration enables bespoke solution to learning environment

Doncaster’s first and only Sixth Form College will personify fast-track collaboration when it opens its doors in September.

The new, £20million, 9450m2 New College Doncaster, which will be run by the New Collaborative Learning Trust, will have been built from start to finish in just 13 months. It features state-of-the-art ventilation solutions from Gilberts Blackpool to create a fresh, conditioned internal environment. The core, standard solution has been tailored to the specific needs of the project in collaboration with BAM Design and BAM Construction, to deliver, in one product, a commercially viable alternative to conventional heating & ventilating strategies.

In total, 62 of Gilberts’ standard MFS256 hybrid ventilation units, each with integrated heat coil, have been installed at the College; 51 of the units have been incorporated into the windows, using Gilberts’ WM (window-mounted) louvre, a registered design that combines a split up/down louvre blade configuration for optimum efficiency of air movement in and out of the classroom. A further 11no. MFS256 units have been integrated into the façade using a bespoke designed duct extension.

To address the specific needs of the science rooms, Gilberts added dedicated controls logic for the MFS units in those areas; the logic interlocks with the gas supply to ensure the gas will not activate unless the MFS is operational, and automatically supplies additional fresh air whenever a fume cupboard is opened.

In addition, eight MFS-V turrets have been sited on the roof, each positioned within a shaft, to provide natural ventilation to the sports hall and two of the first floor teaching spaces.

BAM senior project services engineer Gavin Wilcox observes:

“Gilberts had the ability, in-house, to design and deliver bespoke options from a standard product, to meet the specific design criteria or limitations at particular projects, based round natural ventilation which is the preferred methodology for educational buildings. Gilberts’ innovative approach gives us the ability to increase flow rates, utilise heat coils within the ventilation unit, so that that we were able to use just a single, discreet unit in most classrooms, and eliminate the need for radiators in the classrooms.

“As each unit is stand-alone, serving an individual classroom, repair & maintenance is simplified. The system also means there are fewer units overall, so reduced installation, interfacing into building management systems, maintenance- all beneficial to the lifetime costs of the building”

Installed through the external façade or window, Mistrale MFS provides both fresh air intake and used air exhaust through one unit; the system mixes internal and external air to ventilate the internal space. A mixing damper within modulates airflow to allow the new, fresh air to mix with the warm exhaust air, thus extracting its heat without the need for an exchanger whilst still maintaining the required levels of air quality within the space. The integrated low energy fan energises to blend the internal air, ensuring an even distribution of airflow, with control over temperature and CO2 levels within, and maintenance of a comfortable internal environment for occupants.

Just two Mistrale MFS128, or one MFS256, units will ventilate a standard 32 person classroom, achieving the 8litres/sec/person fresh air required by current Department of Education Building Bulletin (BB101) and PBSP guidelines. Each unit also achieves relevant acoustic considerations: its operational ‘noise’ is less than 30dbA, and it has been engineered to absorb external noise to keep within the classroom criteria required by BB93.

With the heat coil option, the coil is energised and the fan runs on full speed for approximately 20 minutes (depending on night set-back temperatures and flow temperatures) to provide an even heat distribution across the room before occupancy. The integral fan ensures maximum air blending and avoids any stratification. Gilberts’ test research shows that the technique can eliminate the need for wall-mounted radiators.

The MFS-V version incorporates two Fusion MFS128 units placed vertically into a rooftop penthouse turret, with a shaft of only 900mm2, or up to 1500mm2 ensuring effective ‘stand-alone’ ventilation of the space below. No additional ducting or plant is required. By routing the ventilation through the roof then internal spaces that have no external façade can still be efficiently ventilated, be it via natural or hybrid principles. Gilberts designed bespoke cowls for New College Doncaster, with a low profile, so they blend discreetly with the roofline whilst still enabling adequate free ventilation area.

Gilberts has further taken care to attain compliance with Building Regulations Approved Document L: Mistrale MFS attains air leakage better than legislative requirements- 5m3/HR/m2, and a U value of 1W/m2/°C. As with all Gilberts’ ventilation solutions, it delivers efficient weather performance via its bespoke louvre system.

Founded 50+ years ago, privately owned Gilberts is unique in having its own, on-site (85,000ft2) manufacturing facility, producing engineered solutions, with an in-house test centre. Technical expertise is supported by full in-house testing, and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulation capability.