Senior school sends a positive message on sustainability
Lewis & Hickey have designed and managed the delivery of a four storey, 22,000 sq.ft. school teaching block for the Virgo Fidelis School in Upper Norwood. The key elements of the brief were to meet the needs of the modern curriculum, with specific focus on flexibility, sustainability, vocational training, and community involvement.
The upper three floors house ICT, maths, business, and media seminar rooms, all equipped with flat screen computers and interactive teaching boards.
The ground floor caters for the more vocational subjects of hospitality, hairdressing, and beauty therapy, as well as incorporating smaller classrooms for students with special educational needs. The school optimises the use of the new internet café in the hospitality area, for after hour’s community evening classes.
A number of sustainable features have been incorporated, including passive ventilation, heat exchangers, biomass heating, photovoltaic panels
and a wind turbine.
The building is orientated to ensure that heat gains are maximised in winter and minimised in summer whilst optimising daylight. Natural ventilation is aided via BMS controlled windows and atrium stack ventilation.
The design has enhanced the educational process in 3 ways, the first of which is by providing flexible, airy and light filled space; seminar rooms may be increased in size via the sliding / folding partition systems, while the ground floor café, hairdressing, and hospitality facilities may be utilised for evening classes by the community. Secondly, the design incorporates facilities that cater for pupils with special needs, and finally the building
exhibits a highly sustainable design, reinforcing the message that all pupils may contribute to improving our world by incorporating renewable energy sources.