Auchenharvie Academy, Stevenston, Scotland
Built in the 1970s, Auchenharvie Academy was becoming increasingly costly to run and maintain, but rather than replace the existing buildings North Ayrshire Council opted to refurbish the school with a combination of highly distinctive over-cladding and VELFAC composite windows, used both to replace existing windows and to illuminate previously windowless rooms.
The VELFAC system was specified for a range of benefits. The slim VELFAC frame significantly increased levels of natural light, while uniform sightlines resulted in identical window units across all facades, irrespective of opening function or accessories such as the fixed louvres and passive vents used as part a natural ventilation system. External VELFAC aluminium frames, finished in dark grey, also complemented the highly distinctive over-cladding while inner clear lacquered timber frames added a welcoming and natural finish to classrooms and shared spaces.
The regeneration project also delivered significant performance benefits, says Cliff Woodhouse, D+B Facades Business Development Director: ‘The refurbishment saved the Council the cost, disruption and environmental impact of demolishing and replacing an ‘undesirable building’ while also creating a school which now surpasses current performance standards.’ Thermal efficiency improvements are particularly impressive adds Cliff: ‘These alone will deliver direct heat savings of up to 70% per year, repaying capital costs in 20 years while minimising heating maintenance budgets and extending boiler lifetimes. External maintenance and cleaning costs are now no longer budgeted for,’ he adds, ‘and the overall reduction in carbon emissions improves the building’s energy performance rating. As a result, the Academy can meet the needs of generations of students to come, while its asset value is substantially improved.’
The initial budget covered the costs of refurbishing front and side facades but such was the project’s success that additional funds were secured to ensure every façade was upgraded, with the improvements completed in 2019.
Client: North Ayrshire Council
Cladding: D+B Facades