Leading natural and hybrid ventilation solutions manufacturer Passivent recently played its part in the creation of a specialist school located in Sunderland, providing a comprehensive range of its high-performance natural ventilation products, tailored for the SEND environment with the whole building in mind.

Passivent provided Sunningdale School with its unique thermal acoustic Aircool® window ventilators, Litevent Airstract® rooflight/ventilators and Airscoop® roof ventilation terminals which were used throughout the school in classrooms, corridors and halls.  Working closely with Sunderland City Council at the early design stage, Passivent proposed the use of a natural ventilation strategy which would not only provide effective cross ventilation in the classrooms but one which would also reduce noise pollution during operation – a critical consideration for a SEND environment.  By utilising natural ventilation, the school will also benefit from reduced energy usage without the need for mechanical fans.
Two of Passivent’s thermal acoustic window Aircool units were installed vertically in each classroom for the fresh air intake. These units allow the incoming air to be warmed via heater coils, with acoustic baffles helping to minimise the noise. The used air is then exhausted at the back of the classroom at a slightly higher level through the two standard window Aircool units installed horizontally.

A number of Litevent Airstract rooflight/ventilators were also specified and installed along the school’s corridors, with the roof lights providing a great source of natural daylight and the Airstract terminal function in this combined unit providing controllable natural ventilation. Passivent’s Litevent system reduces the need for artificial lighting thereby reducing further energy consumption.  Installed in both the dining and main hall are multiple Airscoop roof ventilation terminals which ventilate the large open spaces, providing fresh air whilst displacing any stale used air. The Airscoop has an optimised segmented design that delivers maximum airflow capacity and its patented double bank louvres provide Class A 100% rain rejection so that the building can be fully ventilated regardless of weather conditions.

To easily control the entire ventilation system, which is split into 21 zones, Passivent’s iC8000 Controller has been installed with seven panels in four different locations across the school. These will be used to modulate the natural ventilation system, monitoring carbon dioxide levels as well as internal and external temperatures to ensure an optimal learning environment at all times.  Sunningdale School is the only school of its kind in Sunderland, specialising in teaching children with severe and multiple learning difficulties aged between 2 and 11. The £13.3 million new build, which was designed with specialist therapy provisions including nine sensory rooms, opened its doors in September 2022 as part of Sunderland City Council’s £45 million programme to update schools that deliver life-changing facilities for young people.


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