Dec 07, 2019 Last Updated 10:52 AM, Aug 14, 2019

Systems unite for building excellence

Published in Education
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An innovative £18m education facility has achieved a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating thanks, in part, to the use of Senior Architectural Systems' groundbreaking Hybrid curtain walling, door and window systems.


Funded by Haringey Council as part of its Capital Funding Programme and believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the 6,000m2 Broadwater Inclusive Learning Campus, designed by architects Gollifer Langston, amalgamates three schools. These include the mainstream Broadwater Farm Primary School and two special needs schools – William C Harvey School and the Moselle School – all at Broadwater Farm in Tottenham.

The Broadwater Farm estate, consisting of 1063 properties, was constructed in 1967 and by 1973 the estate was fully occupied. Design faults and lack of amenities saw queues of tenants requesting transfers elsewhere and more than 50% of potential tenants refusing offers of accommodation there. By 1985, tensions between young residents and police in the area had grown, giving rise to civil disturbances.

Following the clashes, Haringey Council took measures to improve the area, including the completion of urban regeneration; opening community centres, a health centre and transforming a nearby recreation ground. These improvements are continuing today and in 2009 it was announced that the three schools on the site, along with a children’s centre, would all become part of the Inclusive Learning Campus, bringing young people with varying educational needs together. Senior’s assistance with the fenestration on the project has helped to deliver a modern, state-of-the-art campus which is certainly beneficial to the regeneration of the area.

The two-storey school was programmed for delivery over three phases to enable the existing schools to remain open during the construction process. Phase one included the construction of around 50% of the new concrete frame building, which consisted of classrooms for reception and years one and two, together with a hydrotherapy pool and main hall which benefit from copious amounts of natural light and ventilation through the incorporation of Senior’s Hybrid Series 3 curtain wall system and Series 2 windows.

Ideal contrast

Fabricated and installed by Cardiff-based Denval Co Ltd, the Senior Hybrid curtain wall system offers an aluminium external profile providing exceptional performance, long-life and low maintenance with contrasting engineered timber internally to provide an ideal combination of aesthetics, high insulation properties and strong environmental benefits.

Powder-coated externally in dust grey and internally in pine with a clear lacquer for added protection, Senior’s Hybrid composite timber and aluminium system incorporates double glazed units comprising a laminated pane and a toughened pane for security and safety of the children.

Senior’s glass systems were specified by architects Gollifer Langston for the whole project, ensuring a complete Senior system was used throughout the building. This ensured the campus had a consistent, uniformed look, while specifying Senior’s glass system in conjunction with its Hybrid and aluminium systems ensured the smooth logistical running of the project, not to mention a host of cost and time savings due to the specification of a complete system.

The soft coat low-e glass units by Senior provide exceptional acoustic and thermal performance whilst reducing solar gain, achieving an overall U-value of 1.5 W/2K. Senior is the only systems manufacturer in the UK to manufacture both aluminium and timber composite systems and glass units to deliver a complete solution to the architect. Senior’s glass systems are manufactured at a site in Scarborough while other manufacturing sites are located in Doncaster, Newport and Livingston.

Phase two of the project included the demolition of William C Harvey and Broadwater Farm schools and the construction of the remaining areas including kitchens, offices, gym, music facilities and classrooms for years 3-6. The campus also boasts an amphitheatre, library, art space and dedicated food technology and life skills suite. In addition, there is a sensory garden, multi-use games area, wildlife pond, horticultural area and external teaching zones, along with hard and soft play areas. The implementation of these facilities shows how far Broadwater Farm has come since its conception in 1967.

Built-in automation

To help meet its ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating, the building incorporates a sophisticated building management system, including manually operated Hybrid Series 2 top opening vents within the Senior curtain wall system together with a high level of automated vent control. Actuators are built in to the Hybrid frames to enable automatic operation of the top light windows without the use of handles for added safety.

Finished in RAL 7037, louvres incorporated across the full span of the south facing main elevation have been colour matched to the Senior Hybrid curtain wall, powder coated at Senior’s sophisticated in-house coating facility. Glazed feature panels in warm pastel shades incorporated into the Hybrid Series 3 curtain wall to the entrance and common areas, pool and gym, add visual contrast both internally and externally.

Senior’s SCW aluminium curtain wall, meanwhile, provides an elegant treatment for the two-storey stairwell areas with the robust SMR 800 aluminium curtain wall detailed for the entrance areas. Senior SD automatic and manual doors, designed to integrate fully with both the Hybrid and aluminium curtain wall systems have been incorporated throughout the building.

Phase three of the project included the demolition of the remaining sections of the original buildings and the creation of extensive external play and community areas. Through this project, Haringey Council has moved away from the idea of Broadwater Farm as a place of rioting, seen 28 years ago. The council has successfully created a new legacy for the area through the provision of modern facilities accessible to all.

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