Discreet FlowBar crucial for RIBA award winner

A discreet, but effective ventilation system has become a key part of the design for the revolutionary educational building that went on to win the RIBA North West Award 2016.

State-of-the-art landmark build

The new St. John Bosco Arts College is a state secondary school. A&B Engineering undertook the design and installation of the mechanical services for the D&B project (see their case study) and was built by Vinci Construction as a massive ‘hangar’ style open plan facility. It has become a landmark in the surrounding Liverpool housing estate because of its size, bright colours and unusual design. Inside, it offers a tremendous feeling of space with few physical barriers between teaching and activity areas.

Innovative teaching design

As well as the building’s own award, the RIBA regional Client of the Year prize went to the college’s head teacher Anne Pontifex, who played an active part in specifying its revolutionary ‘circular motion’ teaching space.

Clearly, such a large open space presented major challenges to ventilation designers, particularly as designs had to remain true to the overall vision of minimal physical structures in order to keep lines of vision and movement clear.

The original idea was to use floor standing displacement ventilation terminals, but the architects felt this would be too intrusive. A second proposal involved multiple jet nozzles to ventilate the space, but again the architects were unhappy because of their unsightly appearance. At this point, the team approached our company and we proposed our Air Diffusion slot diffusers.

St John Bosco Arts College Liverpool (12).jpg
St John Bosco Arts College Liverpool (02).jpg

Subtle in looks, powerful in performance

Air Diffusion FlowBar diffusers offer a performance that is not too dissimilar to a jet nozzle so is able to ventilate very large spaces, but without the unsightly appearance. They can also be plastered into the walls so, not only are they discreet, their subtle lines can also be a feature of the architect’s interior design without any loss of ventilation performance.

Each individual slot was manufactured as 2m lengths with varying sizes of plenum boxes behind. The slots have been installed to ventilate the large, open communal spaces. Classrooms have been benefitted from fixed blade swirl diffusers.  The dance studio also has high level swirls providing ventilation air from 6m above the floor.

Versatile design

Air Diffusion’s FlowBar diffusers are suitable for either ceiling or sidewall applications. They are available in straight lines or curves to blend in with other architectural elements. Standard slot sizes are 25mm, 38mm, 51mm, 63.5mm and 76mm with single section lengths available up to 2,400mm.

The jet throw FlowBar models used at the college come with pattern flow controllers to allow the airstream to be jetted in a horizontal direction (sidewall mounted) whilst fully integrating into the wall system. Jet throw pattern controllers allow extended throws in typical high bay applications for heated and/ or cooled air. 


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