Photo Accreditation: Scott Brownrigg.

Merchants and Venturers' Academies form a new 2 form entry Primary School and a Special (SEN) Through School for Autistic Children.

The project is being constructed in the grounds of the existing academy in Withywood, Bristol. The site is very constrained and the planning is a challenge.

Due to the proximity of residential properties, acoustics and environmental light pollution are very sensitive for both the schools and the residences. In order to negate this issue, Silcock Dawson have worked closely with the Design team to orientate the building so that a Hybrid ventilated solution and external lighting can be designed with minimal impact. Internal noise is also important to the autistic pupils. Class room fan unit design has been critical to incorporate quiet motors with low noise criteria; these have been tested by pupils and are now approved by the ESFA to meet the requirements of BB102 for SEN Schools.

In order to maximise the value, the design allows both schools, where possible, to share facilities, i.e. shared cooking facilities (separate dining), administration and energy centre.

The design solutions are fully compliant with the Education Funding Skills Agency (EFSA) and Facilities Output Specification (FOS). An innovative solution has been provided for the heating systems in the class rooms, the NHVR units have been adapted to include the heating as no radiators are required, consequently, wall space is freed up for use by the teaching staff and students.

Silcock Dawson has also provided advice on Building Acoustics and Day Lighting.