With its stunning hillside location and eco-friendly design, the award-winning Castle Rock High School is renowned for its innovative approach to education, and its sustainable development.
In terms of glazing, the design had to maximise natural light, and this was achieved by using large areas of low energy double-glazed VELFAC windows, explain the architects. As a result, VELFAC glazing is used to create the multi-window blocks which feature throughout the building, and is installed in glazed, full height window walling, and around the walls supporting the drum-shaped library roof. Stack and cross ventilation was achieved by installing a Building Management System. This controls the opening of VELFAC motorised windows, although manual opening override options also exist.
The use of wood. To reflect the surrounding forest, the team used wood as a consistent design feature. Timber is used structurally, in the form of glulam posts and beams, and in exterior cedar cladding, and this theme is continued inside by using the VELFAC system: The internal timber finish to the VELFAC windows is sympathetic to the interior design concept, where ceiling soffitts are lined with timber tongue and groove boarding, and where the glulam posts are also exposed, explain the architects.
A warm and light feel to classroom interiors is achieved by slim window sightlines and internal wood frame, enhancing the learning environment. All VELFAC windows offer low U-values as standard; the result of low-e, argon filled double-glazed units, and the inner wood frame. A window W1480mm x H1230mm achieves a U-value of 1.54W/m2K. These features also help to deliver excellent acoustic insulation, Rw32-41dB depending on glazing specification, ensuring peace and quiet for pupils and staff, especially in library or private study areas.