All new school buildings aim to ensure a better quality of life by conserving, developing and promoting a healthy, safe, diverse, clean and attractive environment. We therefore aim to reduce our contribution to the causes of extreme weather events through the efficient use of resources, reducing wasted materials and energy and thereby achieving environmental and financial savings.
Attempts to deliver a high degree of environmental efficiency through complex engineering solutions are often beset with technical and operational difficulties that are costly and time consuming to resolve.
Buildings that are simple in their operation are more likely to be readily understood and managed by their users.
The procedure for demonstrating compliance with Building Regulations for non-domestic buildings is governed by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) National Calculation Method (NCM).
Building energy software tools provide a method of calculating the energy use and carbon dioxide emissions of buildings given a description of their use, geometry, orientation, construction, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting. The achievement of required outcomes results from balancing the interaction of each component.
Flexibility is therefore inherent but some approaches are more cost sensitive than others, specifically the requirements for air tightness and ventilation.
The geometry and orientation of the building must facilitate thermal air movement to provide natural ventilation as far as is practicable on any given site.
The visual impact of ventilation stacks together with other roof penetrations associated with engineering installations and required solar shading related to the buildings orientation on the site must be considered as part of the overall design aesthetic from the outset.
Maximising opportunities for controlled natural light reduces the reliance on light use throughout the school. Opportunities to explore natural light levels should be considered for:
- Teaching and operational service delivery areas
- Office areas
- Circulation and ancillary areas
- Building orientation
- Location of windows
Conservation of water
The conservation of water on school sites should be considered as part of the early planning/design stage. Flow restrictors in pipe work serving taps, grey water harvesting, and rainwater collection are some of the potential water conservation tools available limit on site water consumption.
Page updated: 11/09/2019