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Excellence Award in Sustainability

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Excellence Award in Sustainability


Published by Angela May for Passivent Ltd in Education and also in Local Government

swindon library features passivent natural ventilation swindon library features passivent natural ventilation

Passivent natural ventilation has helped Swindon Borough Council’s new Central Library to be acknowledged as one of the UK’s top examples of sustainable design.

The £10m redevelopment of the existing library has won the Bespoke category in the BREEAM Awards, attaining a score of over 72%- ie ‘excellent’- for its environmental features of which the Passivent natural ventilation was a key element.

Designed by architects Nic Newland and Tony Currivan of Swindon Borough Council’s property services division and built by Willmott Dixon with Roberts & Prowse as Mechanical & Electrical subcontractors, the new four-storey building replaces the previous single storey library on the site adjacent to the Town Hall. The building design makes a major feature of the ventilation system, with a series of brick clad service and ventilation ducts encircling the main façade.

Natural ventilation reduces energy consumption over air conditioned buildings by up to 50%, yields 15% savings on capital costs, 75% savings on maintenance costs, and eliminates the need for a separate plant room. Passivent ‘commercial’ natural ventilation systems are proven in real life to be one of the strategies to attain up to an A rating under the new Energy Performance Certificate.
Passivent natural ventilation operates by harnessing principles of physics, in which natural variations in air temperature and pressure cause air movement ie warm air rises (convection), and air naturally moves from higher pressure (eg ground level) to lower air pressure areas (eg roof level). As air moves and changes temperature constantly, the Passivent ventilation functions day and night, 365 days a year.

Strategically located Passivent Aircool window inlets draw fresh air from the courtyard into the building without noise from the surrounding roads. Just 23 Passivent Window Aircool units, five Wall Aircool units, eight Aircool internal louvres and roof outlets provide the ventilation for the entire three storey 2000+m2 building. To help maintain a comfortable ambient temperature and air quality throughout the year, Passivent also supplied 10 window actuators to open and close the second and third floor top opening windows. The entire system is managed through Passivent’s multizone iC central controller which operates on internal and external temperature and internal CO2 levels.

Ken Coates Associate Director for the project’s building services design consultants NDC 2000, observed, “Apart from the need to obtain an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating, great emphasis was placed in the heating and ventilation systems arranged to afford maximum flexibility of use whilst meeting energy targets.” Tony Currivan project architect, added, “Passivent was chosen by Roberts & Prowse for its ability to deliver a sustainable solution cost-efficiently and on time.”

Passivent is the UK’s leading supplier of both domestic and commercial natural ventilation solutions. Part of the Building Product Design Group, the company is a founder member of the NatVent EC-EU-funded project co-ordinated by the Building Research establishment to develop practical natural ventilation solutions for the commercial sector, and has also contributed to the BISRIA Guide BG2/2005 Wind Driven Natural Ventilation Systems, as well as being a member of the DfES steering committee on natural ventilation guidance for schools, Building Bulletin 101.

For further information:
Angela May,AFPR,4 Ashbrook Close,Hesketh Bank,Lancs PR4 6LZ
Tel/ fax: 01772 813600;e-mail:
telephone number for publication: 0161 905 5700



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