Holcombe Grammar School, formerly known as Chatham Grammar, has a proud history dating back over 200 years. Situated in its current location since the 1920s, the property has undergone significant alterations and developments over the years to ensure it remains a first-class educational facility. The school is currently going through a number of exciting developments, including the introduction of a co-educational sixth form from the 2017/18 academic year. Within these developments, the school is introducing four new classrooms, housing up to 80 students and covering a 350 m² area.
The school required an efficient, sustainable heating system to provide the best possible learning environment for the new facilities. To deliver on the brief, main contractors, G A Harper Ltd., turned to underfloor heating (UFH) specialist Warmafloor for its technical expertise and full end-to-end design and installation services.
Explaining the project requirements, Chris Azzopardi, Consultant at G A Harper Ltd., says: “Holcombe Grammar comprises several buildings clustered around the old Holcombe Manor. Over the years, the school has built up around this central building, and at each stage of development the highest quality finish has ensured that the facilities are futureproofed as much as possible.
“For this project, the heating system needed to adhere to strict BREEAM standards. It also had to help maximise usable space and ensure a comfortable environment conducive to learning, with minimal maintenance requirements. In addition to this, we needed a solution that would be quick and easy to install in a busy construction area.
“We therefore turned to Warmafloor for its extensive UFH expertise and ability to design and install complex systems that meet exacting criteria. Warmafloor also offers a 100-year guarantee on its systems, which is unique on the market and a big plus point when it comes to a school that wants a high-performance solution that won’t let them down in the long run.”
UFH offers a range of benefits that make it the perfect choice for school projects. For example, it keeps floor coverings warm and dry by circulating heated water beneath the surface, minimising the growth of hazardous contaminants like bacteria and supporting the general wellness of building occupants.
By removing the need for clunky radiators on walls, UFH also maximises space and provides flexibility for classroom layouts. In addition, Warmafloor UFH solutions can be used both to heat rooms in cold weather, as well offering a cooling system in the summer months.
For the Holcombe Grammar project, Warmafloor was also tasked with designing a system that addressed some unique project requirements. Jon Moran, Business Development Manager at Warmafloor, explains: “When G A Harper Ltd. chose us for this project, there were a few key stipulations we had to consider from the outset. For example, the entire project had to meet BREEAM standards, as well as deliver a long-lasting end-result that would benefit the school in the long term.
“We developed a bespoke Floating Floor dry system, which offered high structural integrity with minimal down-time once installed. We also used recycled materials to meet BREEAM requirements – for example, we used 100 per cent recycled gypsum and 100 per cent recycled foam. We also provided full performance and environmental data on the system to help G A Harper Ltd. meet its wider project requirements.”
Warmafloor’s Floating Floor system requires no drying time, so extension works could resume as quickly as possible following its installation. In these systems, the underfloor pipework is fitted into pre-grooved metal diffusion plates and set in polystyrene floor insulation panels, following which dry screed floorboards are laid. The final floor covering can then be installed over the system – a quick, easy and effective method which fit in with the project’s strict timetable.
Another key benefit of the Floating Floor system is that it offers complete access for any component repair or replacement. The flooring can simply be lifted and the system fixed, minimising future disruption from any unnecessary maintenance work.
Azzopardi concludes: “Warmafloor’s Floating Floor system was the perfect solution for Holcombe Grammar School’s new extension. The quick installation time allowed on-site works to progress more efficiently and the strength and quality of the installation will ensure that the UFH is an investment to last.
“However, Warmafloor provided much more than just a physical installation. Its end-to-end service offering means that they have been able to support us in designing and providing technical advice on how to meet stringent environmental requirements, as well as remaining on time and on budget.”
Holcombe Grammar School’s project is due to be completed for the October half-term. For more information on the services offered by Warmafloor, visit: https://warmafloor.co.uk/. To gain expert guidance on the right system for your project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about G A Harper Ltd., visit: https://www.gaharpers.com/