Dunham-Bush Radiant Panels A ‘Natural’ Selection At Charles Darwin School

It was a case of natural selection when Dunham-Bush Evolution radiant panels were installed at the recently refurbished sports hall and gymnasium at the Charles Darwin School in Biggin Hill, Kent.

When selecting heating for large volume spaces, such as sports halls, there are specific environmental considerations that need to be taken into account, in particular siting flexibility and energy efficiency. Radiant panels are often the preferred choice because they can be installed at high level, either freely suspended, ceiling mounted or high on a wall. As the panels are sited remotely from the activities, there are no concerns about damage, obstruction or air movement that might impact on the activities themselves, (badminton for example).

Dunham-Bush Evolution panels provide effective and highly efficient heating by employing radiant heat, which unlike convection heat is not diminished by the additional air changes required in these type of facilities. The unique heating effect from Evolution radiant panels also creates a comfortable environment at lower air temperatures as the floor, walls and occupants are heated directly without the additional need to warm the surrounding air. The new Dunham-Bush Evolution installation replaces an old gas-fired radiant tube system, which involved a costly annual maintenance regime.

Evolution panels are available in one, two, four or six tube combinations comprising extruded aluminium alloy planks up to 3 metres in length. The Evolution FS6, freely suspended six-tube, 900mm wide panels were selected for both gyms. Each panel has a radiating surface facing down, with the rear encased in 50mm foil backed mineral wool insulation. Performance is assured through compliance with BS EN 14037 thermal testing. All panels were stove powder coated to RAL 9010 white, 30% gloss.

The installation included 144 metres of Evolution with a total output of 80kW for the main sport hall, which includes a full-size basketball pitch and 60 metres of Evolution with a total heat output of 33kW for the gymnasium, which also features a trampoline facility.

‘It made good engineering and economic sense to replace the old gas-fired tubes system with low temperature hot water radiant panels,’ said William King, Director of H & V Building Services, main contractors for the heating work.

‘The Evolution radiant panels have the additional benefit of being highly efficient, maintenance free and aesthetically attractive,’ he added.

Earlier phases at the school included upgrading the heating in the classrooms and 52 Dunham-Bush Series AM fan convectors were installed. AM fan convectors are designed and engineered with safety, efficiency and ease of maintenance the key criteria.

Charles Darwin School is the only secondary school in the Biggin Hill area and consists of 1,320 secondary and sixth form students. The school is also a creative arts college and is renowned locally for its annual school productions. Pupils have represented and won events at county level at football, rugby and cricket and a number of pupils have represented the England U18 football team, competed at diving at the Olympics and played Premier League football, a tribute to the school’s sporting acumen.

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