Furze Platt Senior School is designed to use natural ventilation and natural light first, greatly reducing the energy bills. The teaching block also features a small solar panel array that contributes 10% of the building’s energy.
The new school hall is a flexible space for activities ranging from small dance classes to whole school assemblies and theatrical performances. Following our design, it is naturally ventilated using windcatcher towers to provide a constant flow of fresh air and heated with super-efficient heat pumps.Furze Platt Senior School is an Academy school located in Maidenhead Berkshire. Banyards were appointed to provide a performance design for a new 3-storey Science, IT and General Teaching block to replace an existing single storey building on the campus. We collaborated on the project with Atkins architects to create a low energy building with hybrid ventilation, passive cooling, and extensive use of natural light via large façade windows in the classrooms and additional light entering from the central atrium at the rear. The building was designed for compliance with the department for Education’s Facilities Output Specification (FOS) and a significant amount of time was spent studying the building in a thermal modelling environment to create low energy, world-class learning environments for the students. The building is heated by underfloor heating supplied by energy-efficient modular condensing boilers. Additionally, a portion of the building’s electricity is generated by roof-mounted solar panels.
Furze Platt Senior School was the largest of 4 school extension projects that Banyards completed for the client alongside Atkins so challenges in achieving compliance with the DfE’s Facilities Output Specification (FOS) were largely resolved through our work on the previous 3 schools (Charters, Cox Green, Dedworth). Banyards worked closely with Atkins to design the building façade that delivers high levels of natural light and fresh air that interacts with the thermal mass of the structure to give a natural cooling effect. Banyards have taken the principles from this approach to other successful projects with different clients and architects. We have used the lessons learned to help us adapt our approach to suit the new DfE Output Specification which has subsequently superseded the FOS.