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Abbey Infant School, Smethwich

Client: Spatial Initiative

Architect: AHR Architects

Budget: £1.5M

Completed: 2018

Abbey Infant School has a population of 317 children from years 3-7, with a nursery block providing care and education for 3-4-year-olds in a separate area with access to an outdoor learning area.

We provided the detailed building services design for this Modular Offsite ESFA Framework project for Spatial Initiative. The project required the complete development of a new modular building as the existing building was condemned in places. The first stage of the project was to completely demolish the building. Temporary works were undertaken to the existing school hall to make it safe for both the children and staff to use as a dining hall and play area, whilst the demolition was taking place. On-site enabling works required a phased detailed engineering solution to ensure the existing school services remained operational during the construction period. Below ground gas, water, fire alarm, data and electricity diversions and re-provision was carefully developed and designed.

To minimise the work on-site, much of the work was carried out in the ESS Modular factory in Dublin, this made a total on-site time of 32 weeks which is 45% quicker than a traditional build. Modern methods of construction were carried out with this project with the MEP fit-out completed in the factory. Compliance with Climate Based daylight modelling was achieved, and window arrangement designed by us to control glare, heat gains but to maximise natural daylight into the teaching spaces. Full dynamic thermal modelling was conducted in compliance with TM52 Thermal Comfort.

The facility benefits from low energy hybrid ventilation system supplied by above-ceiling mounted units and all learning areas were provided with CO2 and temperature sensors, which control the systems. A high-efficiency gas condensing boiler with Low NOx was installed, which provides the heat demands within the building using static heating systems, LST radiators and radiant panels and a domestic hot water cylinder. LED lighting was delivered throughout the design with dimmable LCM boxes and combined PIR utilising the combined presence/absence detection and photocells for daylight linking. All these energy efficiency measures, combined with a high-performance thermal envelope and low air leakage rate (of 4.4) resulted in a very low carbon footprint of just 12.2 Kg Carbon per m2 per annum.

  • Hybird Ventilation System
  • High-efficiency boiler
  • Photocells for daylight linking