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Flood Precast feature in RIBA for Horizon School Hackney

A school for children with special educational needs, which uses Flood Precast products, has been the subject of a very positive feature in the RIBA Journal, the magazine of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

A Brand New School for Children with Special Needs

The Garden School in Hackney is an entirely new building on the site of the former Horizon School in Wordsworth Road, Stoke Newington. It is an amalgamation of the former Horizon and Downsview schools onto a single site, offering nursery, primary and secondary education. Pupils at the school have disorders such as severe autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), making their special educational needs complex, and requiring a specialist curriculum.

Purpose-built Facilities

The school, which cost €15 million and has capacity for 150 pupils, has state of the art facilities, such as a splash pool, covered outside play areas, soft play rooms and a cafe for the local community, which will be run by older students.

Flood Precast Concrete Flooring

The Garden School features Flood Super Voidslab floors, with Class B soffits suitable for direct decoration. The exposed soffit contributes to the building’s natural ventilation through the thermal mass effect, as it absorbs excess heat from the atmosphere during warmer parts of the day, and releases it again as the building cools.

Minimised Building Height, and Better Flexibility

The school is in a residential area of two-storey housing, and concerns were expressed by the community at the planning stage, about the potential height and bulk of the building. The Flood Precast floors are thinner than the alternatives, which allows a lower building than would otherwise be possible. Additionally, the floors allow for future alterations in layout, making the building adaptable to changes in configuration.

Praise by the RIBA

In the RIBA Journal, Eleanor Young describes the school as ‘a place of care and safety’. She praises the building’s use of ‘good simple materials’ and says ‘there are moments of lightness and beauty throughout the building’.

A ‘Very Good’ Rating for Sustainability

The Garden School received a rating of ‘Very Good’ from BREEAM, which is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. The scheme recognises innovative solutions that minimise the environmental impact of buildings, such as the natural ventilation and reduced heating and cooling costs to which Flood’s exposed soffits contribute.

Read the full RIBA article here.

Read more about the use of Flood Super Voidslab® at Horizon School, Hackney here.

For more information and additional images on this project, visit Horizon School, Hackney in our Education Sector.

For more information on Flood Precast Concrete Flooring, contact our team at info@floodprecast.ie.