The £17.5 million science and technology academy in Hillingdon, funded by DFES and private sponsorship, provides four faculties around a central atrium space used for exhibition, dining and assembly which produce a striking subject for commerical photography and architectural photography. Other spaces include a four court sports hall, gymnasium, drama space, learning resource centre, general and specialist teaching spaces. The Civic Trust Award-winning academy provides 1150 secondary school places.
The structure is conventional in the sense that, even for the half-buried drama and gym block shown in the accompanying commercial photography and architectural photography, which has some steel superstructure, the foundations are piled, there is a ground-floor slab supported by concrete ground beams, and walls are generally of blockwork, in the case of external walls with rendered outer and inner plastered leaf.
The unusual feature is that in the teaching blocks the roof and first-floor slabs are made up from TermoDeck hollow-core planks, which form an essential element in the environmental controls. The TermoDeck planks are about 1,200 mm wide, with five circular cores running their lengths. At Stockley Academy, they span 9m between the structural corridor wall and the external walls.
The basic M&E strategy is to use the TermoDeck environmental control system, which is based on thermal mass. The built-in tubes can be connected laterally in the factory to circulate air through and between the planks that make up the slab. Registers can be installed over holes in the underside of the slab to provide fresh, mostly warmed, air in rooms. Pushing the air around inside heats up the slab, which then acts as a thermal sink, radiating warmth into the rooms below which removes the need for radiators as shown in the commercial photography and architectural photography. An essential part of this M&E mix is the triple-glazing installed in classroom glazing.