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Gilberts Helps Create the Right Learning Environment for Excellence

A state-of-the-art new veterinary school, that brings together two of the UK’s gold-standard teaching universities, has opened its doors to students. Ventilation from Gilberts Blackpool is playing a key role in helping create the right learning environment internally.

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The Harper & Keele Veterinary School combines the distinct expertise and resources of Keele University- one of the UK’s leading medical schools- and Harper Adams- one of the UK’s leading agricultural and animal sciences schools.

On Harper Adams’ campus in Newport, the school is located in a purpose-built new two-storey building, with plant room at roof level, combining a lecture theatre, teaching spaces, a pharmacy, and ancillary administrative and support facilities. The whole building is ventilated using grilles from Gilberts installed by JPR Mechanical & Electrical Services to a specification designed by engineering consultants Waterman Group.

The ground and first floor teaching areas are all connected to a natural ventilation heat recovery unit, with the third floor roof level space having air handling units to serve the lecture theatres and natural ventilation penthouses to provide air intake into the atrium.

The two-storey lecture theatre features Gilberts’ GSJA omni-directional swirl diffusers to accommodate adequate air supply across the width and height of the seating area which rises to some 5m high. To deliver Waterman’s brief, Gilberts engineered the GSJA diffusers to incorporate bespoke electrical operation in place of the conventional thermal actuation to provide instantaneous switch between horizontal and vertical discharge. This enables lecturers to alter the discharge to provide rapid cooling in summer and heating in winter, all at the flick of a switch.

Supply air is circulated to most of the first and ground floor areas using Gilberts’ DGA four-way louvred face diffusers fitted into the suspended ceiling, with extract achieved via Gilberts’ GECA eggcrate grilles. Both supply and extract grilles have been attenuated to not more than 15DB- well within recommended noise levels for lecture theatres. Gilberts’ FB700 door transfer grilles deliver air transfer into the offices.

Nuala Maguire, Associate Director at Waterman Group, explained, “The proportions of the main lecture theatres made it complex to specify a system that would ensure everyone would be comfortable and that there would be no draughts or hot spots, whether sat at the high back of the room or low at the front. We know Gilberts can provide not just the products but the technical backing to support us in delivering the most appropriate solution within design and budgetary considerations.”

Added Head of School Professor Matt Jones, “Health and welfare is at the heart of the new School. That extends beyond the student learning programme, to their wellbeing. A well-ventilated building is of course central to this. The work of Gilberts alongside JPR and Waterman has contributed to an exceptional building which is a powerful statement by Keele in these difficult times, and confidently points to a strengthened educational future on campus.”

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