“As a firm, we feel it is imperative to first get a sense of the capabilities of the Board; how willing and able are they to maintain and control the systems out in place?”
Avinash Garde, Principal
Our thinking on the building systems was driven by the Board itself as a way to realize their sustainability mandate which would be applied to future schools. It was reliant on two main criteria: The first was a student focussed approach which would evaluate the impact of the system on students and staff. Secondly, we had to consider systems that would reduce operational costs, up front but also in the long term as they may be in place for 50 + years.
As a firm, we feel it is imperative to first get a sense of the capabilities of the Board; how willing and able are they to maintain and control specific systems in place? It is easy to be seduced by more complicated high end systems – but they are only as effective as the procedures in place to manage them.
We put in simple to operate but highly efficient systems like a 100% displacement ventilation system which provides excellent indoor air quality and is one of the highest fresh air systems out there that also is energy efficient. The school is heated by an inflow radiant heat system which keeps the building at a lower comfortable stable temperature instead of the ups and downs of forced air. This utilized water in tubes through a thermal mass process that’s more efficient than heating air.
This was combined with a high performance envelope to reduce solar heat exchange. For example, in the west facing atrium, we went beyond the standard and used a higher quality of glass which has the highest ratio of letting light in while reducing solar radiation exchange.