Exposed Soffit Ceiling at Gloucester Academy
A recent completed project was at Gloucester Academy, a secondary school, which has now moved into its new state of the art building.
The building designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, and incorporating the latest digital technologies for learning.
The wide slab concrete flooring used at Gloucester Academy acts as a heat sink, helping to keep the internal temperature of the building stable. The concrete in the exposed soffit ceiling has the capacity to absorb and store heat, which is then released back into the building as it cools. This produces a self-regulating system which reduces the need for mechanical cooling and helps to prevent overheating, an effect sometimes known as the ‘thermal flywheel’. Concrete is an excellent building material for this purpose because it has a high thermal mass, which means that it is able to retain, and then give back, much more heat than less dense materials.
The exposed soffit design at Gloucester Academy contributes to energy storage and release by providing the surface area through which energy transfer takes place. Precast concrete is more suitable for this necessary exposure because the finish can be of higher quality than concrete cast in situ. In this case, the exposed concrete finish adds to the aesthetic appeal of the building.
An energy-efficient building
This building makes the best possible use of the insulating and fabric energy storage properties of concrete, resulting in decreased energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint.
- Main Contractor: Kier Construction
- Architect: Nicholas Hare Architects
- Engineer: WSP Consulting Engineers
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