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© Valerie Bennett
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© Valerie Bennett

North West Kent College

North West Kent College implemented masterplans we produced with architects KSS for two campuses, in Dartford and Gravesend, with a new building on each site. 

Both are important to the college’s development, and as well as providing extra space and contributing to a new image and ethos, they will be highly energy-efficient, using the TermoDeck system for ventilation. It is a propriety system that pays for itself within about ten years. This sets parameters for the construction and our principal contribution is to ensure that the structure is no more expensive or complicated than absolutely necessary. TermoDeck depends on hollow-core precast concrete floors planks which circulate air and use the thermal mass of the decks and the most practical way of supporting it is with a steel frame. On a 9 m square grid it offers considerable flexibility for interior layout and keeps the total floor sandwich depth to around 400 mm. 

At Dartford the new building is a landmark on the edge of the campus. An early proposal to give the building a curving billboard was dropped because it over-complicated the structure and compromised how TermoDeck would work, though the same effect can be achieved by bolting signs to a regularly shaped building. 

At Gravesend the site is within the campus. Operationally it will help to decant and reconfigure the overall use of space, while architecturally it completes a quadrangle lined with amenity spaces for students.

Energy efficient additions to North West Kent College's two expanding campuses

LOCATION
Kent, UK
CLIENT
North West Kent College
ARCHITECT
KSS
PROJECT VALUE
£ 32 million
COMPLETION
2011