Abtec Building Technologies (Abtec BT) has upgraded the environmental controls in various buildings at Arthur Mellows Village College, a sixth form secondary school located near Peterborough.
As well as reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, the new controls have provided the school with greater ease of use and operational efficiencies.
The school relocated its science department to a new build in 2009, leaving its previous building to become disused and unfit for purpose. However, the school recently wanted to breathe new life into the old science department building and set about creating a vision that would be called the McLaren Building.
A major aspect of the refurbishment would focus on the upgrading of environmental controls, with Abtec appointed by the project consultant to undertake this work.
“In the old science block we were tasked with providing integrated lighting controls, mechanical vents and a BMS plant room based on Tridium technology – totally replacing the old systems,” explained Phil Peer, project manager at Abtec.
The McLaren Building, which opened in 2016, has been refurbished to a very high standard and exceeds current thermal insulation levels. Housed within the revamped building are five dedicated art classrooms, a kiln room, screen-printing room, two science laboratories, a science preparation room, two media rooms, a media studio, a computer room and two further classrooms. The total cost of refurbishment works and fit out was approximately £1.5m.
Due to the success of the McLaren Building, Abtec has since completed several additional projects at Arthur Mellows Village College, including the introduction of a BMS in the humanities block; lighting controls in the newly constructed site office block; and lighting controls and BMS in the sports hall.
Another area that leveraged the expertise of Abtec was the refectory, where extra space was constructed on to the existing block. Abtec provided a solution for controlling the underfloor heating, CO2 mechanical vent, lighting control and plant room controls – all of which were fed from the main plant room.
The systems installed by Abtec also facilitate the automatic testing of emergency lighting on a monthly basis, a function that saves on labour costs and time – boosting operational efficiency in the process.
A common head end sits on a virtual school server, so all data is aggregated back to one place. In addition, a single set of graphics is deployed across all plant rooms to provide the same look and feel.
All of the new lighting is based on LED technology, which, in combination with the Abtec control systems, means a better learning environment for pupils. Furthermore, new heating plant is helping to drive energy efficiency and CO2 reductions in line with Part L of the building regulations.
“The temperature and lighting is a lot easier to control now, whereas before it was difficult to say the least,” said Gary Wentworth, site manager at Arthur Mellows Village College. “We had to go down to the boiler room and locate the right switch, which was not necessarily obvious. Now it’s all centralised on one computer, so we can alter time zones and schedules, and respond to issues quickly; it only takes a couple of minutes. The lighting has daylight harvesting control, which is saving energy as well as ensuring the right light levels for students and staff.”