Following the launch of Phase 2 of the Government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), leading interior solutions provider Armstrong has launched a RIBA-approved CPD on ceiling solutions for education.
The seminar, which earns RIBA members double points, meets RIBA’s core curriculum subjects of designing and building it (design, construction, technology and engineering) and climate (sustainable architecture), both at a general awareness knowledge level.
The CPD is designed to help architects better understand the new PSBP designs for schools and meet acoustic and thermal requirements to create a more energy efficient and comfortable learning environment. And because solutions for both acoustics and overheating have the potential to impact on each other, it emphasizes that rather than being just useful, it is essential that both are designed and considered together.
The CPD advises that among other factors, acoustically the reverberation requirements have not changed from the original BB93 although the introduction of spaces for SEN (Special Educational Needs) students adds the requirement for high sound absorption at low frequencies. Also, that rain noise was not mentioned in the original BB93 and now the PSBP gives a more realistic figure than the BREEAM figure that was sometimes specified.
It also advises that thermally, using Armstrong CoolZone Phase Change Material (PCM) ceiling tiles, allows high thermal mass properties to be added to the lightweight construction currently preferred for reducing the cost of construction and on-going maintenance of a school.
As well as new-build projects, the use of these passive energy-saving materials also helps with a low-carbon energy strategy for school refurbishments. Case studies such as Hartsdown Academy, Twydall Primary School and Belvoir High School help explain how the use of Armstrong acoustic ceiling solutions and PCM ceiling tiles have met the requirement s of the output specification – the design standardisation created by the EFA (Education Funding Agency) to reduce school building costs, complexity and build time.