The Student Services Centre is a 730m2 single storey building including a large covered courtyard and entry canopy, designed to house the school’s counsellors, pastoral care, deans, wellness and guidance facilities. Face brick and natural timber were used extensively on the exterior, referencing the existing school buildings, while creating a unique and contemporary aesthetic.
The school was keen to create a sustainable benchmark for future buildings where meeting rooms and service areas could be shared in a collegial manner, and all spaces could be afforded natural lighting and ventilation.
The buildings outlook should focus on the schools central playing field with a protected threshold and outdoor space.
An important stipulation of the brief was to achieve natural lighting, and ventilation in order to minimise the need for mechanical airconditioning. Gas boiler heating to radiant units was adopted as the most cost effective heating coupled with very high levels of thermal insulation. Electric radiant ceiling heaters were used to supplement heating output and to avoid lost wall space.
LVL (laminated veneer lumber) structural timber fabrication was adopted for its sustainable low carbon credentials and the tangible benefits the building users feel being in proximity to timber.
The other important benefit was to utilise and offset fabrication of structural components through CNC (computer-numerical control) cutting. Rapid assembly allowed installation of the roof structure within several weeks of laying the slab. This allowed for interior fitout to follow early in the programme, reducing the overall construction period to ten months.