Helping make a positive contribution to environment

The Combined College Boathouse on the banks of the River Cam is now contributing towards its environment- including its use of sustainable strategies.

The new facility, for the Combined Cambridge Colleges of King’s, Selwyn and Churchill, together with Leys School, has been designed by RHP, to simultaneously deliver a building that met- or exceeded- the latest Standards, but also enhanced the character of its location in the Conservation Area.

Britain’s leading air movement specialist, Gilberts Blackpool, has been instrumental in helping meet the objectives, providing both the natural ventilation components, and air movement elements for the supplementary mechanical ventilation.

Gilberts has provided a pair of continuous natural ventilation wall assemblies, purpose-designed for the project, by incorporating its WHZ50 high performance external louvres with class A weathering, each with a VN75 damper, 440mm deep attenuator and internal HGH deflection grille, controlled by a combined CO2 and temperature sensor, to deliver fresh air without weather ingress to the main clubroom, office and kitchen area. For the fitness room, WCs and changing room, supplementary mechanical ventilation with heat recovery was utilised to ensure adequate removal of moisture and heat. In these areas, Gilberts’ WGF75 through-wall louvres, and DGA internal ceiling diffusers, help ensure appropriate air movement and quality with a clean horizontal air pattern throughout the building. The acoustic attenuation to the louvres also means whilst adequate air circulates through the fitness room, any excessive noise remains within the building.

Ray Chudleigh of RHP explained

“The previous boathouse was built in the 1960s, was very industrial in design, and criticised as being a building that detracted from the character of the area. The new boathouse has been designed to positively contribute to, and enhance, its location, whilst providing practical solutions and accommodate its location on the flood plain. It uses natural resources as far as possible, and should deliver a 25 per cent improvement in Predicted Building Emission Rate against the target for the type of building, and halve the legal requirement limit re air leakage. Natural ventilation was used wherever possible as part of the design objectives- in the clubroom, office- with supplementary heat recovery and mechanical ventilation where necessary (in the fitness room, WC, changing rooms).”

“The design team had previous experience of Gilberts’ products, and specified the company for the boathouse project on the back of that experience.”

Founded 55 years ago, Gilberts has become Britain’s leading independent air movement specialist, with a range of stand-alone natural ventilation solutions, complimented by air movement components- grilles, louvres, diffusers- for mechanically-operated systems. It develops all its products in-house, from design through tooling to production, in its 85,000 sq ft Blackpool manufacturing facility. Gilberts is unique in its sector in having, in-house, advanced test facilities complimented by full software modelling to provide unrivalled validation of grilles, louvres and diffusers in situ.