Toilets, Parking, Partial disabled access, Full disabled access
Expansion to a Victorian school taking the form of a giant timber classroom box, raised up on wooden legs.Sustainable features include stack-effect natural ventilation, solar-reflective glass, green roof, full-heat recovery and ventilation.
No access to the roof
Regular tours every 30 mins (10am-12.30pm) max 24 per tour
The Expansion Project
The extension to Northbury School in East London, built in 1897, demonstrates an approach to the transformation of existing school buildings by making them sustainable and meeting 21st Century standards.
The £5.5m expansion project takes the form of a giant timber classroom box, raised up on wooden legs to the level of the upper teaching areas.The box is clad in a curtain wall giving every classroom an eight metre-wide, three metre-high window to the world outside. At junctions between old and new buildings, high-level glass corridors reveal views of the romantic roofscape and ornate sculptural terracotta-work of the Victorian school, a counterpoint to the low profile cladding of the extension.
New chimneys add to the existing roofscape, but instead of coal smoke, they vent hot air from the classrooms below. Beneath the classroom box are new school entrance and administration areas, and a shiny new kitchen visible through big windows to the front.
The new building is rated BREEAM Very Good, with rooftop solar panels, green roof, heat recovery ventilation and connections for district heating.
The New Extension
The school expanded from 3 to 4 forms of entry. To create eight additional classrooms and four SEN rooms, the floorplate of the existing building was extended so that additional accommodation is directly accessible from the main circulation.
New lifts make all five floors of the school wheelchair accessible for the first time. Interior materials form a low-pollution teaching environment, with natural plywood bespoke joinery, natural hair carpet and linoleum flooring and pinboards.
The building uses a simple and low-carbon kit of parts designed for accelerated assembly. The timber structure is glued and laminated into a prefabricated frame with engineered wood slab floors, walls and lift shafts.
Use of a timber structure has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by at least 540 tonnes compared to a conventional steel and concrete structure. 16.3 tonnes of CO2 will be saved each year compared to the existing school with a conventional extension.
Main sustainability features include:
existing school retained and insulated
a green roof
solar hot water collectors
stack-effect natural ventilation
full heat recovery of ventilation air
high insulation levels
thermal improvements to the old school
“Greenhill Jenner's Northbury School in Barking is a timely arrival which successfully transforms an existing site, values the buildings already there and explores sustainable construction and environmental control.“
Architecture Today, July 2009