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Kalwall lights up Featherstone High School

The school's teaching block has been modernised with translucent cladding

Posted by Hannah Vickers | July 12, 2017 | Facilities management

Kalwall® translucent cladding has been extensively used for the refurbishment of the main teaching block at Featherstone High School in Southall, Middlesex.

The original 1958 concrete framed building was failing due to decay and ingress of water and needed structural stabilisation. DSP Architecture were appointed to repair and encapsulate the frame, resulting in a stunning transformation into a very modern teaching block befitting its ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating and complementing the other new school buildings.

The renovation required removal of the old concrete spandrel panels, repairs to the concrete structure and then over-cladding with Kalwall panels supported on a new steel frame which was added to extend the floor space. The build was completed in two phases over the course of a year while the school continued to operate, resulting in reduced disruption to staff and students. This meant there was minimal use of temporary classrooms during the works, thereby saving time and money. 

The new façades allow floor to ceiling diffused and healthy daylight to flood the interior while providing privacy for students and removing any distractions. An integrated row of clerestory windows provides ventilation and limited views to the outside. Studies show there is a high correlation between daylighting and increased human comfort. Kalwall eliminates all shadows and glare and the stark contrasts of light and shade, which not only reduces eye fatigue but also enhances concentration. 

The system also enhances simplicity by doing away with the need for blinds, curtains or solar control. Even on cloudy days, the interior is flooded with natural daylight, which means less artificial lighting and, because Kalwall is highly insulating, energy costs are reduced. The standard Kalwall 70mm thick panel offers insulation up to 0.28W/m2K - equivalent to a cavity filled solid wall.

The advantage of it being fabricated offsite meant disruption and time onsite were minimised while the combination of high insulation, natural daylight and ventilation means reduced energy costs - Geraldine Walder, project architect at DSP

Geraldine Walder, project architect at DSP, comments, “The client specifically requested Kalwall for this project after seeing how well it worked on our previous project for the adjoining Sixth Form building. The advantage of it being fabricated offsite meant disruption and time onsite were minimised while the combination of high insulation, natural daylight and ventilation means reduced energy costs”.

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