NorDan Gives BSF School a Breath of Fresh Air

NorDan Gives BSF School a Breath of Fresh Air

As part of the Building Schools for the Future programme of investment, two Lewisham schools are being updated with new state-of-the-art buildings fit for the 21st century. Windows from NorDan, the leading supplier of high-performance environmentally-friendly windows and doors, are ticking all the boxes on sustainability and performance for the project.

Sedgehill and Catford schools stand within a couple of miles of each other and are being upgraded as BSF sample schools by PFI partner Costain. The new buildings represent a substantial investment, with a budget of approximately £50 million across the two projects. While Catford High School will be delivered at the end of 2009, the new building at Sedgehill School was opened to students in January 2009.

NorDan supplied timber tilt-and-turn windows throughout the project. The tilt-and-turn window is NorDan’s flagship product, which can tilt inwards for draught-free ventilation, or open completely for safe and easy cleaning from inside, making maintenance easy and eliminating the need for a cherry picker for this routine task. At Sedgehill, all rooms with windows in the external facades are naturally ventilated at high and low level in accordance with DfES Building Bulletin No. 101, allowing controllability in classrooms to suit seasonal conditions.

The NorDan windows specified have a whole window U-value of 1.6 W/m2K, improving on the current Building Regulations standard of 1.8 W/m2K. In addition, the windows installed in stairwells are fire rated for safety. NorDan offers a wide range of optional extras for all its window designs, including durable low maintenance aluminium cladding, low emissivity glazing, sound reduction and even integral venetian blinds.

Architect Behrouz Shomali of Architects Co-Partnership explains: “As a practice with substantial experience in the education sector, we like to specify products that we know are up to the job. Buildings need to reach high standards on sustainability requirements and also need to be robust enough to perform in a high-use environment, with stringent safety standards

He continues: “In the public sector, product specification is often a balance between performance and budget, and NorDan manages to get this right, although at Sedgehill the quality of the product was the deciding factor. Sustainable sourcing of materials was another reason for selecting NorDan, as its PEFC accreditation is a guarantee the timber is sourced from PEFC-certificated sustainable sources and can be traced from forest to factory.

“But what’s more, I think NorDan windows look good. l particularly like the look of the timber which I feel enhances the aesthetic of a building.”

The design of the new Sedgehill School incorporates a number of environmentally-friendly features such as biomass boilers, photovoltaic panels and solar water heating. 18% of the school’s electricity and heat requirement is generated from renewable sources.

“We were thinking ahead in the design,” comments Behrouz. “The new school embraces sustainability principles, including BREEAM, with a design based on proven principles and experience, but enhanced and developed to meet the school’s vision and objectives for the twenty-first century.”

Sedgehill School is the fourth largest in London, with 1,750 students across the secondary school and the sixth form facility. In a carefully-planned build programme, the new school has been built partly on the site of the existing 1950’s school, with the old building to be demolished after the swap to the new facility and replaced with a sports hall, complete with NorDan timber windows.

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