School finds people-friendly solution to aircraft noise: David Nicholson-Lord reports on the 1993 Green Building of the Year Award, co-sponsored by the Independent on Sunday

A PRIMARY school designed to cope with jets roaring 500ft overhead every minute and drowning out lessons has won the 1993 Green Building of the Year Award, sponsored jointly by the Heating and Ventilating Contractors' Association and the Independent on Sunday.

Grove Road school in Hounslow, west London, is under a main flight path to Heathrow airport. Not only were teachers rendered inaudible; the school is frequently sprayed with aircraft fuel.

The task facing Plincke, Leaman and Browning, the Winchester-based architects, was to cut noise without imprisoning the occupants in a sealed box. They also had to replace three old high-silled Victorian school buildings with a single unifying design.

The new school, finished in 1990, is based on the idea of an 'acoustic umbrella' and was praised by the judges for its lightness and friendliness. Wedge-shaped classrooms open like segments of a fan off a central glazed courtyard. The school is sunny and open yet intimate.

The judges, who included representatives of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Building Services Research and Information Association, chose Grove Road because of its solutions to noise pollution.

The award was presented yesterday by Judith Hann, who introduces BBC Television's Tomorrow's World, to Max Fordham, the consulting building services engineer.

As well as reducing noise levels by 35 decibels, the school is highly energy-efficient; bricks and slates from the demolished Victorian buildings were re-used. Each classroom has its own garden, with plants matching the colours of the rainbow and fences of large coloured 'pencils.'

Two buildings were highly commended by the judges. The London Wildlife Trust visitors' centre in Peckham, south London, has a living roof made of grass and wildflowers, and 'breathing walls', which create a healthier indoor environment by allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through. The centre is made of timber, which consumes a quarter of the energy needed to manufacture bricks. Paints were organic, materials and finishes made from natural substances such as pine resin, beeswax and linseed oil. There are plans to recycle washing-up water on site using wind pumps and reed beds.

The offices of Peter Holden Architects, in Pembroke, Dyfed, were commended for their creation of a light, airy and healthy environment from a derelict quayside building. Stonework, beams, rafters and slates from the original building were re-used, set in a traditional lime-rich mortar to form a 'breathing skin'. Glues, stains and paints were non-toxic: linoleum was used for floors and work surfaces instead of PVC.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m