In 2009 Hartwell Architects approached us to advise on the acoustics of a new primary school to be built on a green-field site on the Isle of Sheppey. Unusually for a state primary school, the architects were allowed to develop an unconventional design including a roof inspired by a Spitfire wing. This distinctive feature is in recognition of the area’s famous World War II airfields.
From the outset, Eastchurch C of E Primary School was required to achieve a BREEAM “Very Good” rating, along with BB93 compliance. Our brief was to attain the necessary acoustic credits in a partly open-plan, naturally ventilated building. The site was also relatively close to a surprisingly busy road. We collaborated closely with architect and landscape architect regarding the area designated to car pick-ups and set-downs. The orientation of the school was critical, and we advised on the use of earth bunds as acoustic barriers to mitigate traffic noise.
Our other key technical features included:
• A specially developed roofing/ceiling system to control rain noise from the metal roof
• Acoustic treatment of rooftop wind catchers for natural ventilation
• Use of a high-performance folding partition between Year 1 and Reception classrooms
• CATT modelling for acoustic design of the multi-purpose hall
• The use of the school itself as a noise barrier to protect certain rooms and outside teaching/play areas
• BREEAM credits, including those for control of noise to residents from a Multi-use games area and from a small wind turbine which was part of the original scheme
Upon completion Kent County Council Education Chief, Cllr. Sarah Hohler described the school as “an outstanding building”.
Client: Kent County Council
Architect: Hartwell Architects (now HMY Hartwell)
Contract value: £3.5 million