• Project: Sheffield Botanical Gardens Education Centre
  • Sector: Education, Leisure
  • Building Services EngineersJSH Consulting
  • Spe­cialist commercial and industrial engineering servicesWatsons Building Services
  • Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Products installed

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Windcatcher X-Air Natural Ventilation Systems

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iNVent Control Panels

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The Dorothy Fox Education Centre in Sheffield Botanical Gardens was opened in March 2017 by the Duke of Devonshire. The building was completely re-built with the financial support of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust (SBGT) and the Friends of the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield (FOBS) and three major legacy donors – Dorothy Fox, Mildred Rushby and Barbara Holland – and The Sheffield Church Burgesses Trust, The J G Graves Charitable Trust and The Freshgate Trust Foundation.  The new centre includes three classrooms and a flexible space that can be used for events at the gardens.  The centre runs a variety of educational activities and fun events for children to get to know the gardens such as bear hunts, mini-beast studies and bunting workshops.

The X-Air system brings a steady supply of fresh air to the classroom, topping up the oxygen level whilst at the same time expelling stale air. Fan noise, often associated with mechanical systems is virtually eliminated.  This allows occupants in the room to concentrate on the educational material that is being delivered.  The simple, but effective design of the system provides fresh air during the daytime as well as night-time cooling.  When coupled with our iNVent control, the system provides CO2 demand controlled ventilation, by means of energy efficient motorised volume control dampers.

There is an additional wellbeing benefit of controlling CO2 levels during the day. By keeping the air feeling fresh, occupants of the room can maintain concentration levels and focus, rather than experiencing the common “dip” in attention that comes when CO2 levels rise and the air becomes stale.  Recent monitoring has shown that systems are working as expected and BB101 requirements of average CO2 levels being below 1500ppm during the occupied day are met.

By using natural ventilation, the system also reduces the centre’s impact on the environment by using virtually no energy.  An added benefit of using natural ventilation is that energy costs are limited.  Maintenance is also kept to a minimum as there are very few moving parts compared to a more mechanical system.

*Thanks go to FOBS Sheffield for their permission to use their images. R. Egglestone 

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