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The team at Nationwide Windows & Doors often invite children from the schools in which they’re working to visit the Rugby manufacturing facility for personalised factory tours. Pupils always comment what an eye opener it is to see how much work goes into making doors and windows – products we take for granted every day.
Our experience in large scale public sector building projects such as schools taught us that, rather than simply replace like for like, we needed do our homework and gauge what would be most beneficial to the school in terms of functionality and future proofing. We’ve all seen what can happen when a job doesn’t work, and had we just replaced like for like, chances are that the school would need more refurbishment work sooner than anticipated, resulting in more cost and more disruption.
Set in Moulton, just north of Northampton, Moulton School & Science College serves around 1,300 pupils between the ages of 11 and 18. The school has a strong set of core values geared towards ensuring that every pupil is challenged to achieve to his or her full potential by developing a range of talents and interests in a safe, secure and healthy environment. So, when the decision came to undertake refurbishment of the main school, maths and science blocks, it made sense to choose partner companies that complemented the school’s own aims and values.
Ridge Property & Construction Consultants and Kier Construction were chosen to complete the works, and for the windows and doors, Nationwide Windows was the perfect fit. Ideally placed to understand the challenges of school refurbishment works, we became involved in the project from the early stages, providing a pre-survey consultancy service to gauge the most appropriate solution for the school’s individual needs.
Natural fresh air also helps keep students alert and ready to learn, and parallel windows such as those provided at Moulton offer one of the most efficient designs to allow for adequate ventilation. Importantly, parallel windows do not open outside of the internal brickwork, meaning that they are the safest choice for reducing the risk of falls. For additional comfort, Pilkington Solar Control glass was utilised in the windows on the main block.
Ventilation was also key to the refurbishment of the Science and Maths blocks, and here the AA3610LS vertical slider was recommended. This window features a linked sash mechanism, which allows the window to open at the bottom and the top simultaneously, ensuring the sash is not reliant on the occupant opening multiple vents to provide single-sided ventilation. The design enables stale air to be drawn out of the top of the window while fresh air is drawn in via the bottom. The vertical slider design was chosen so that ventilation could be maximised in this way, but without breaking the building’s lines. Conversely, the energy efficient properties of all products supplied also help to prevent heat loss, so provide a significant reduction in heating bills for the school. The main entrance door to the Maths block was replaced with the Kawneer 190, a welded door which is routinely specified for McDonalds buildings due to its ability to withstand high footfall. This door is available with a 10 or 20 year warranty. All chosen products are significantly aesthetically pleasing to further enhance the exterior appearance of the school.
But of course, school building refurbishment is about more than product alone, with timetables and exams needing to be taken into account to avoid any disruption to learning. We dedicated ourselves to out of hours working to achieve results with minimum disruption. All staff also undergo go Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS) as a matter of course, so are fully vetted and ready to undertake any school project. The result is a rejuvenated school, fully equipped to help its pupils learn in a safe, comfortable environment.
ationwide worked closely with both construction companies involved, as well as the school itself, and used our wealth of experience in the education sector, to address what the school itself needed from work undertaken, rather than simply serve as a ‘yes company’ replacing like for like. The team did its own research and consulted the people in the know – the teachers – before recommending solutions for the refurbishment works.
For the main block, it was decided that Kawneer AA100 curtain wall system be used to replace the current screen, in order to replicate the feel of the original building, whilst AA601 parallel opening vents were integrated into the curtain walling to replace the previously top-hung windows in order to provide maximum ventilation.
Natural ventilation is crucial to a learning environment, and in keeping with requirements for fresh air supply in school buildings according to Part F of the Building Regulations and the DfES Building Bulletin 101, which states the following performance standards:
The work has made significant improvements and addressed some of the long standing issues that we had. It has improved the environment for both pupils and staff, and this is most noticeable with the curtain walling, which previously had very poor insulation. We have even had to turn the heating down since the work’s completion. The children are now noticeably happier to come to school. It was a big and potentially difficult project but we’ve been really pleased with the results.
Mandy Dane, Business Manager