The building uses ModCell's latest innovation - ModCell® straw bale roof cassettes. This is the first building ever to use this innovative building material. The roof, in conjunction with the ModCell® straw bale wall panels, means that the total envelope of the building as now made using straw. The thermal properties are up there with the best the construction industry can offer, whilst also offering an extremely sustainable solution.
Another innovation is the Pargeting to three elevation of the School (Pargeting is ornamental plasterwork, traditionally created using lime plaster). The Pargeting takes the form of a double helix (refering to the structure formed by double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA) and is particularily suited to illustrate the use of the building.
Hayesfield Girls School is a Technology College with an emphasis on innovation in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) The School works with Trust partners to enhance specific STEM activities and courses for students such as research projects looking at environmental monitoring of buildings and working with scientists in residence.
The proposed building incorporates an efficient layout of labs and classrooms arranged around a Super Lab and double-height learning resource centre, and will allow the school to extend its provision of STEM teaching through an integrated approach to learning.
Sustainability is a key driver for the new building which will visibly demonstrate low energy design, construction, materials and use to all users and act as a learning resource, demonstration model and catalyst for sustainable thinking and initiatives for the whole school. The building will be built from a versatile and efficient straw bale cladding system eliminating the need for a separate structural frame and increasing speed of build on site through pre-fabrication.
An ‘A-rated’ Demonstration Energy Certificate (DEC) will be targeted by maximising passive performance through a highly efficient envelope enhanced by low energy use products and services, but critically through an ongoing consultation with the school user group to enhance understanding of the way that the building will most efficiently operate in use.
The project is due for completion September 2012.