Exemplar facilities for an exceptional school
Located on the outskirts of London, Harrow School is one of the UK’s leading independent schools. Dating back to 1615, the school’s 400-acre estate comprises many listed and architecturally important buildings as well as playing fields, tennis courts, a golf course and woodlands.
Driven by its commitment to providing a high quality educational environment, the school is seeking to replace its existing sports and science buildings with new, purpose built facilities.
BuroHappold Engineering has been appointed to provide a range of services for the project. A key challenge for our sustainable engineering team is the need to provide low energy, high quality facilities while remaining sympathetic to the school’s historical roots. The site lies in a conservation area and contains heritage and listed buildings, leading to restrictions on what can be built.
The school is home to 880 boarders and includes several high-energy facilities, including shower rooms, a swimming pool and laundry facilities. In order to achieve the brief, our team needed to work closely with both the client and Harrow Council building control officers to ensure a successful outcome for all stakeholders.
One of the scheme’s main drivers is the school’s desire to create exemplar buildings in terms of their carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.
Ian Tavener, Director
Our team has incorporated an energy centre, which will be located in the Science Building. The centre will service both the science and sports buildings, while providing potential for energy to be distributed to other buildings in the future. A combined heat and power system (CHP) will offer a low-carbon source of heating, while also generating electricity to be used across the site. The CHP will meet the increased energy demands of the new buildings, as the existing systems do not have enough capacity.
Our team has specified a borehole to collect water from the school’s playing fields, which will then be used for cooling and also as top-up water for Harrow School’s swimming pool. This solution will save approximately 2,800Wh/year from free cooling and 12,000 Wh/year in heating for the pool. Further low carbon energy is provided by solar PV panels across the site. We carried out a number of solar studies to help us understand the effect of solar gain, enabling us to place the panels in the most effective locations.
Putting student experience and health at the top of the agenda, our engineers have developed a comprehensive natural ventilation strategy. Our building services engineers specified natural ventilation chimneys, supplemented by a fresh air supply system, which will encourage the flow of hot air while minimised CO2 levels to achieve a high level of air quality.
Our energy efficient strategies have ensured that the project will achieve a 35% improvement over part L 2013 Target Emissions Rating in line with the stringent London Plan targets. In addition, the school is on track to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. These low energy engineering features, along with our commitment to preserving the listed buildings on the site, have resulted in a project that will provide exceptional educational facilities for both current and future students.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply