Specifier Review


A new £3.2 million science block at Birches Head High School features Xpelair’s unique Classmate mixed mode ventilation solution.  The system offers state-of-the-art natural and low energy ventilation and heating, whilst ensuring the acoustic requirements for the classrooms are maintained in accordance with the Building Bulletin requirements for schools.


The new facility, funded through Stoke-on-Trent’s Building Schools for the Future programme, includes seven science labs, a prep room, two breakout rooms and a garden area that has been developed to help students study plant growth and ecology.

Xpelair’s innovative Classmate solution was specified and installed for the project by M&E services specialist Drayton Beaumont.   Designed to help create an environment that enables pupils to learn and perform better, the Classmate system ensures clean, fresh and healthy indoor air quality is supplied to the building at all times.

Anna Lovelock, Xpelair’s Strategic Alliance Manager, commented: “Our Classmate solution has raised the bar in our industry for the ventilation of school buildings.  It controls the learning environment by automatically reacting to CO2 levels, room occupancies and seasonal and daytime temperatures to maintain the optimum indoor air quality. 

“Classmate features industry leading acoustic performance, minimises energy input and reduces carbon emissions by use of passive ventilation only for CO2 control.  Summer ventilation is provided by low energy EC fans and heating by low pressure hot water coils and controls.”

Designed for installation into external and internal walls or cladding, Xpelair’s Classmate has been designed to meet the requirements stated in Building Bulletins 93 and 101.  The CO2 and temperature sensors automatically provide the users with the correct ventilation solution to maintain the correct classroom environment both in terms of CO2 levels and temperature. The control system also allows the user a manual override facility to modulate the high and low dampers as required and, as a result, lower carbon emissions can reduce the school’s energy costs by up to 40% compared with conventional mechanical only systems.

In the new science block at Birches Head High School, the control system has been designed to provide each room with the correct environmental conditions. The Classmate control system has the ability to interact with central BMS systems, and in this case the modulating dampers have been combined with the operation of the high level windows to allow exhaust air from each lab to exit the building.

For more information on Xpelair’s extensive range of residential and non residential ventilation solutions visit www.xpelair.co.uk or call 0844 372 7750.