A green academy fit for the future

Staff and pupils have settled into their brand new eco-friendly Sidney Stringer Academy building in Coventry which is one of the newest Academies in the Midlands and benefits from the latest advancements in green technology, designed by Couch Perry & Wilkes (CPW). The company developed, designed and delivered much of the passive and active energy saving devices, and low and zero carbon technologies at the new £27 million Academy, which is sponsored by Coventry City Council, City College and supported by Coventry University and Jaguar Cars.

Improved building fabric

CPW was contracted by Kier Moss, which began construction work on the 13,088 sq m building in 2010, and used some of the most advanced eco design techniques to create an ultra-low energy building for the school that boasts the most languages spoken by pupils in the UK at more than 40.

CPW’s passive building techniques started with the construction of a heavy­weight building structure – this design principle uses the building’s structure and envelope to naturally heat and cool the space and it created an improved building fabric that surpasses Building Regulations requirements.

The design is supported with solar controlled glazing on the southern aspects, whilst maintaining high levels of natural daylight, and passive cooling techniques that use night purge ventilation.

Internally, specific energy saving features include intelligent lighting controls that have automatic daylight dimming and absence detection, highly efficient fully condensing boilers, and low energy cooling using a highly efficient chiller with free cooling ability to serve ICT rich teaching areas.

Environmentally sound

Simon Seaton-Smith, Director of Couch Perry & Wilkes, said the striking new building, which has green technology at its heart, offered 21st century solutions for a 21st century education. “This has been a fabulous project for us to work on,” he says. “The school started afresh with a new building and it can go forward with confidence about its green credentials.

“Our sustainability specialists have used all their expertise to ensure Sidney

Stringer Academy is ecologically and environ­mentally sound.”

CPW faced a number of key engineering challenges on the city centre project, including dealing with high levels of noise and traffic pollution. This meant the company’s engineers had to carefully design the façade and windows to minimise potential problems.

The three-storey Sidney Stringer Academy comprises a main teaching block and an Enterprise and Innovation Centre. Advanced information and communication technology forms a key part of the school together with multi-function auditorium areas. A purpose built sports hall is also part of the project.

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