| architecture - Sacred Heart Science Block
The school understands the impact that the built environment can have on learner results and enthusiasm. This project seeks to express how science deals with current environmental issues: a new membrane wraps the old building and performs a number of self-sustaining functions: collection of rainwater, vertical garden sun screening and electrical energy generation, to create a modern, relevant and exciting place in which to be inspired by science.
Sacred Heart College has identified the opportunity to increase the performance of their science students and bring them on a par with the excellent results that pupils are achieving in mathematics and other subjects. The condition of the existing science block has long been seen as a contributing factor to students underperforming in the sciences. It is felt that a facilities upgrade would go a long way to improving results.
The brief required a refurbishment of the existing science block which presented a number of problems.
The challenge was twofold:
REUSE OF EXISTING BUILDING
The reuse of the shell and facades of the existing building is preferable and more sustainable than an outright demolition and re-build.
A NEW SKIN
A new skin wraps the existing building creating a layer which responds to its various façade orientations.
A modern colonnade is formed between the “periodic table wall” and the existing building. In this space, students will be able to store their bags and pause before class, sheltered from the elements.
A roof of Photovoltaic panels oriented to the north will provide the power requirements for the building.
WATER COLLECTION and STORAGE
A storage tank, situated on the south-west corner will collect rainwater from the roofs to complement the irrigation system that feeds the “living wall”.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) has been previously connected and is in use in the existing building. Its use will be extended to provide a more economical form of heating in the winter months.
All new materials, ceilings, floor finishes, paint etc. will be chosen based on appropriate and sustainable criteria.
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