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Chevrollier High School (France)

Credits: ©2009 REVIVAL

Before renovation of this 1959 high school, the south façade glazing was exposed to direct solar radiation, causing the classrooms to overheat on sunny days. A solar shading system was applied to the entire south façade of what is now a "green" building; this was designed to reduce the direct solar radiation during the summer months and increase diffusion of daylight to the back of the classrooms, whilst also permitting easy maintenance of the external façade.


Chevrollier High School Shading Devices Close Up

Solar shading devices on Chevrollier Hihg School in France help provide a low-maintenance exterior. ©2009 REVIVAL

Lycée CHEVROLIER Rue Adrien Recouvreur 49000 ANGERS. This city is located in the west of France, between Paris and Nantes. The Lycée Chevrollier was built in 1959 on the outskirts of the city. Development of the area means that it is now in the centre of town. The site consists of long buildings with south-facing classrooms.

Building History
The Lycée Chevrollier is a school built in 1959 and attended by 2500 students and 500 teachers. The refurbishment works were applied to around 90% of the original building (approximately 36,000m2), whilst the remaining 10% of the original building was demolished and re-built, with a 9384m2 increase in total area. CHEVROLLIER combines professional, scientific and literature education systems. Pupils study there from sixth grade until the obtaining of their degree. Apart the school restaurant and the gymnasium, the whole building will be refurbished.
 before refurbishment: 37 000m²
 refurbishment: 33 000m²
 demolition (workshops): 4 000m²
 new buildings: 9 000m²
 Total refurbishment surface: 42 000m²
 No ventilation system had ever been installed in the high school
 Some areas, such as the workshops, were built with asbestos
 Windows and woodworks were degraded
 It seems there is a problem with the stability of the concrete

Refurbishment Strategy
Details of the refurbishment strategy can be found in the following document, Refurbishment Of Chevrollier High School

Fabric improvements
External insulation was installed in the roof and west, north and east facing walls, to reduce roof U-values from 3.5 to 0.233 W/m2K, and wall U-values from 2.0 to 0.385 W/m2K. Applying the insulation to the exterior allowed the concrete faces of the external walls to be exposed, enhancing the thermal mass of the building. The thermal bridges were removed and internal insulation applied to the south façade. Windows were replaced, with U-values reduced from above 6.0 to 1.9 W/m2K.

Solar Gain Control and Glazing
Before refurbishment, the south façade glazing was exposed to direct solar radiation, causing the classrooms to overheat on sunny days. A solar shading system was applied to the entire south façade; this was designed to reduce the direct solar radiation during the summer months and increase diffusion of daylight to the back of the classrooms, whilst also permitting easy maintenance of the external façade.

The existing lighting was replaced with energy efficient luminaires. Electronic ballasts were used, producing flicker-free, dimmable light with good colour rendering.

Heating and Cooling
A new, class IV gas boiler was installed.

Prior to refurbishment, ventilation could only occur via un-designed routes, such as infiltration, therefore air quality inside the school was very poor. Building Regulations in France limit the size and shape of window openings in schools, therefore the refurbished buildings could not be naturally ventilated. The ventilation strategy selected needed to accommodate the different activities, space functions and occupancy levels that occurred throughout the building, which led to a hybrid system being specified. For the classrooms, two types of air inlet were used: · Fixed inlet (open all year round), · Motorised inlet (open when there is overheating risk). Around 50% of the inlets are fixed and 50% are motorised. During the night in the winter, the main fans are switched off and the permanently open inlets are sufficient to ventilate the building, whilst on summer nights, extra inlets are opened to allow for night cooling. An atrium space was created by connecting a glass roof between the new building and the existing refurbished building. As well as providing amenity space for the students, it serves as a buffer space, reducing thermal losses. The atrium is naturally ventilated through BEMS controlled openings in the roof and a large, 24m2 door in the south façade wall. The openings are left half open during the summer months. The workshops are ventilated through a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation takes place through the low trap door and high chimneys and is designed to cool the rooms during the night. Mechanical ventilation is necessary due to the extensive machinery used in the workshops, and is air displacement with heat wheel recovery air exchange.

Renewable Technologies
Photovoltaic panels have been installed on top of building C, where they are orientated south. Low Environmental Impact Materials Finishes and materials, e.g. adhesives, paints, etc, were selected for their low VOC emissions. In particular, formaldehyde emissions from particle board, plastic laminates and synthetic carpet, were avoided.

At the Lycée Chevrollier, in the refurbished buildings E and F, the requirements of the proposed ventilation system and national fire regulations meant that holes had to be drilled into the floors. Because of the fragility of the floors, an insufficient number of holes were drilled, and some of these were smaller than required, resulting in poor air quality and slight overheating in the classrooms during the summer. The new buildings, which have a different ventilation strategy, did not experience these problems. Also, in refurbished building F, the amount of daylight inside classrooms is lower than expected. This is probably caused by other buildings in the vicinity blocking the received daylight.

The Completed Building
The Lycée Chevrollier refurbishment has been successful in carrying out an energy-efficient refurbishment, although not to the extent outlined in the original proposal. The new atrium is a simple structure that is greatly appreciated by the students as a social space, as well as providing a thermal buffer between buildings. The occupants are pleased with the striking architecture of the solar shades, which have been successful in regulating solar gains. The daylighting and acoustic environment in classrooms has also undergone a significant improvement. Less successful were the attempts to improve indoor air quality and temperatures during the summer in the classroom. The Lycée Chevrollier is a government owned educational facility and will continue to function as a secondary school. It has been assumed that the refurbishment work will extend the lifetime of the buildings by at least 20 years.