We are now entering the final few months of the construction of the Academic Wing Phase II with the completion date anticipated to be around 18 December.
For those of you who have been at the College during the construction, I am sure you will agree it’s been interesting to watch it take shape and slowly develop into what will be a lovely building. For those of you who are new to the College the Academic Wing Phase II will provide a link to the Auditorium and a new entrance to the College, new Lodge and pigeon holes, a café on the ground floor and Library break-out space, a media room and offices on the first floor.
The project has remained on course throughout the construction phase and the Architects, Consultants and Contractors have done a great job in ensuring our new building should delivered on time. The building is now really taking shape with the new pigeon hole area and café servery ready to be fitted out. The new café area is looking great, as is the new Library break-out area and the offices on the first floor.
Although from the outside the building looks very normal, it does in fact have some special features that we should be proud of. It is heated using air source heat pumps fitted during the construction of Phase I, it is naturally ventilated, has PV Panels and a green roof.
Air source heat pumps
We have two large air-to-water heat pumps and these work in the following way. An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat from the air is absorbed at low temperature into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased, and this higher temperature heat is then transferred to the heating and hot water circuits of the building.
Solar power - PV panels
The College has installed 44 photovoltaic panels (PV) on the roof of A Block. This solar panel electricity system, captures the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day, which is lucky for us. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity and this can then either be used by the College or sold to the National Grid. It is anticipated that these panels with generate somewhere in the region of 8,500kWh per annum.
The green roof system is constructed using a low maintenance sedum planting that provides excellent cover and increased protection to the waterproofing system. The plants are grown on a ‘blanket’ that is harvested like turf and installed by rolling out on top of the waterproofing membrane on the roof. The blankets are very lightweight, easy to maintain and provide instant greening to the roof. The benefits are many and provide a home for smaller elements of wildlife as well as insects and invertebrates which in turn provide a food source for small birds, acts as great roof insulation and protects the roof surface below form UV deterioration. The sedum roof can be seen from Linton Road.
What happens next?
Over the next couple of weeks the construction works will continue with the installation of the new lift, the internal limestone flooring will be laid and the continuation of the electrical, heating and carpentry works.
A new Quad has been created by enclosing the old front forecourt and the external works on this area will begin very shortly. The external works will include new limestone slabs that create a circular terrace surround by five concrete benches. Some of the reclaimed granite stones will be used around the outside of the Quad. New lighting will be installed along with eleven new birch trees, also in a circular configuration with the large magnolia remaining in place. A section of the old road down towards Robin Gandy Buildings will be removed to allow the planting of a single purple beech at the top end followed by seven pear trees down the road to form a tree lined avenue. The pear trees are a fruitless type but will look fantastic. The remaining concrete path will be covered in a sealed gravel surface to form a very pleasant route from the new quad to the north side of the College grounds.
If you have any questions or if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.