Best use of windows in Commercial New Construction in Australia
Architects Edmiston Jones have specified windows and glazing from Hanlon Windows for many years now and appreciate the collaboration to achieve the best use of windows in Commercial New Construction in Australia for the new Multi Purpose Centre at the Nowra Christian School in Nowra, NSW.The Building Education Revolution program provided funding for this project and defined it as one of the best examples of the program. the project saw the provision of a multi purpose hall suitable for basketball as well as other indoor sports and activities. The School was ambitious with their brief and also wanted an additional two classrooms as well as a purpose designed music room and a learning area for drama. As the building was designed for flexibility and a variety of uses, the spaces had to meet a range of lighting, acoustic, ventilation and heating requirements. Energy efficiency was an over-riding consideration. Elements such as natural ventilation, solar access, outlook to the surrounding bushland and acoustics were key to the design of the windows and doors as described below. Natural lighting has been maximised wherever possible with large window areas shielded by wide eaves to shade the summer sun. Bright yellow-frames to the fenestration add a playful element that also serves to create a visual link between the building stages that evolved over the life of the school. The classrooms have high-level east facing windows to allow morning sun in to warm the space before school starts. Each room is design as a separate compartment so it can be heated or cooled individually to respond to the occupants and different hours of use. One of the key features of the multipurpose hall was the stepped high level windows to replicate the tree canopies surrounding the building. A key to the success of the multi-purpose operation of the Centre is a two-sided stage which functions as the ‘drama room’ and also opens into the music room to create a theatrette. Sound attenuation of the stage was achieved by an operable acoustic wall with the highest rating of any acoustic wall available in Australia, a value of RW51. Double-glazed windows in the music room and insulated double stud walls provide sound separation from the dedicated practice rooms.