Gilberts fuse a healthy environment for re-purposed brewery

  • 3 Jan 2023

The £12.6m extension to Thomas Telford University Technical College (UTC) is using the latest technology to deliver ‘a gold standard in education’, through to its ventilation, thanks to Gilberts Blackpool.

Designed by Associated Architects and delivered by Morgan Sindall, the facility forms part of what is Europe’s largest construction education campus, on a former brewery site. The three-storey, 4500 square metre teaching building features Gilberts’ ventilation throughout, fusing both hybrid and natural ventilation into a cohesive strategy.

As a result, 81 WHZ38 glazed louvres have been integrated into the aluminium façade (engineered by Elite Aluminium Systems) to provide natural airflow in and out of the common zones of the internal spaces.


These are complimented by a further 73 MFS128 hybrid units strategically located at high level throughout the teaching zones – installed by Dodd Group (Midlands).

The factory-built high performance WHZ38 louvres are purpose-designed for inclusion into glazing systems, delivering Class A weather protection with 40% free ventilation area.


The Department of Education’s school ventilation guidelines (BB101) recommends the use of natural and/or hybrid ventilation within its buildings and the optimum method to balance and control temperature and air quality (CO2). 

Gilberts pioneered hybrid ventilation; its stand-alone MFS Fusion was the first system of its type. MFS Fusion centres around stand-alone natural ventilation for each space/zone, complimented by an as/when needed mechanical boost, via a low energy fan.

The system works by mixing the incoming fresh air with the warmer internal exhaust air to maintain compliant IAQ in each stand-alone space. The fresh air is drawn in through the façade at high level, and exhausted through the same route, once natural air movement principles have circulated the air throughout the space. 

Being at high level, and the fresh air tempered as it is drawn into the interior space, there are no cold spots or draughts, optimising occupant comfort. Each MFS128 unit will efficiently and cost-effectively ventilate a typical 30 person classroom, costing as little as £5pa to operate (subject to energy prices).

Natalie Richardson, Associated Architects’ Asssociate, explains: “The Department for Education guidelines suggest hybrid ventilation. The M&E consultants CPW proposed the combination of Gilberts’ façade louvres and MFS Fusion hybrid ventilation, as delivering a quality solution. We were happy to accept that advice.”

Gilberts is recognised as the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist, offering grilles, louvres, and diffusers for natural, hybrid and mechanical ventilation. 


Gilberts of Blackpool,
Gilair Works,
Clifton Road,
FY4 40T

Phone: 01253 766911
Fax: 01253 767941

Visit Gilberts of Blackpool's website

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