Health & Happiness Petal:
The UniverCity Childcare building prioritized the health of its occupants as the primary consideration throughout its procurement. The project’s integrated design process required that all stakeholders be heavily involved in making important decisions during the design stage. The realized integrated design principles throughout the project act as figureheads for childcare facility design worldwide.
The building provides an inherent teaching experience to the occupants through its design and operation. Opportunities to experience nature are prominent within indoor spaces, allowing children to explore their senses through interactive education.
At construction stage, the contractor prepared a detailed indoor air quality plan which prescribed strict practices to maximize air quality throughout. This was coupled with strong attention to detail in the selection of materials and finishes to ensure that any risk of off-gassing or chemical exposure was eliminated.
CIVILIZED ENVIRONMENT IMPERATIVE
The childcare building ensured that access to the outdoors was maintained for every occupied space and provided an indoor environment that is naturally healthy, clean and civilized.
HEALTHY INTERIOR ENVIRONMENT IMPERATIVE
The UniverCity Childcare spatial programming has a functional aspect and a ventilation strategy for the building at its core. All the activity centres and heavily-occupied rooms are located on the perimeter of the building where operable windows are available, whereas the rooms where chemicals or a higher level of contaminants are present have been located centrally in the interior. This allows the system to be designed as a once-through system.
There are two distinct modes of ventilation: winter and summer. During the winter, the heat recovery unit provides 100% outdoor air to each space. The air is supplied through displacement ventilation diffusers in each room. As the occupants in the space warm up the ventilation air, the air rises and is then exhausted at the centre of the building through the kitchen area, washrooms, janitor room, and laundry.
Because the daycare has a strong connection to the outdoors, kids are regularly going outdoors. Such activity increases the infiltration, thus providing passive ventilation of the interior spaces. As such, ventilation rates have been calculated to account for this infiltration. Should the ventilation be insufficient, trickle vents located at high level within the spaces allows additional outdoor air to enter the space. The ventilation air rates and trickle vents are controlled through CO2 sensor in the spaces. As CO2 increases in spaces the trickle vents can be controlled to allow more outdoor air to enter the required space.
During the summer, the heat recovery unit provides exhaust only through the centre of the building in the kitchen, washrooms, janitor room, and laundry. Operable windows shall be operated by users. The indoor air quality is monitored through CO2 sensors. Should the CO2 exceed the preset levels, the trickle vents are automatically opened. As CO2 increases in spaces the trickle vents can be controlled to allow more outdoor air to enter the required space.