South Staffordshire College

Client: South Staffordshire College
Architects: Maber Associates
Fabricator: Allied Glazing
Main Contractor: Wildgoose Construction
System Used: Comar 5P.i, 6, 7 & 7P.i

Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems with their approved fabricator Allied Glazing Systems Ltd completed this eye-catching new build project: The New Foster Centre for Learning. It is a state-of-the-art teaching facility on South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus, which is home to over 20,000 students across four campuses.

South Staffordshire College was one of just 46 colleges out of a total of 129 that were successful in their application for Enhanced Renewal Grants.
The 1500m2, two-storey steel framed building achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and is clad with gabions, timber and curtain walling. The centre features the latest environmentally friendly technologies and practices

The majority of the building is naturally ventilated, a Building Management System (BMS) has been installed to let building users know whether the windows should be open or closed, ensuring optimum ventilation and cooling efficiency. A design feature was the use of abundant natural daylighting which provides a sense of well being, this, coupled with PIR light occupancy sensors, reduces the need for artificial lighting. Additional features include low energy services such as thermal massing within the structure of the building to aid cooling in the summer and to provide heat in winter, rainwater harvesting and a renewable energy heating system fuelled by locally sourced wood chip fuel from sustainably managed woodlands.

The buildings recessed entrance and picture frame windows provide architectural features to the westerly views of the building. The new facility includes state of the art classrooms, a large refectory with an outdoor terrace, catering kitchen and a shop.

A key consideration in the design was timing and being able to meet a very tight build deadline of 35 weeks to ensure the building was open and operating within 12 months. All Comar approved fabricators are required to have the technical expertise to attend pre-site meetings and provide detailing. Allied Glazing liaised closely with the specifiers to provide design advice and detailing which ensured the project ran smoothly and met site deadlines.

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