The Goodwood Education Trust is a registered charity committed to offering schools, colleges and other students a broad variety of learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
The focal point of its endeavours is the Goodwood Education Centre. Set amidst an eight-hectare area of woodland dedicated exclusively to outdoor learning in Seeley Copse, the facility features a bright and airy classroom for up to 60 children and provides access to safe, practical hands-on learning and enrichment activities year-round.
The plan was to expand upon this with a new facility to increase the capacity for school visits, allow others to use the grounds for educational activities and courses, and enable the Trust to run activities for other groups outside school hours, such as at weekends and during holidays.
It will also expand the ability of students to follow up outdoor learning with extension activities. This includes scientific work such as microscopic research and IT; cooking with farm produce; art workshops and craft activities such as wool spinning, dyeing, weaving; and the implementation of a hub for sharing environmental and farming activities via webcams and internet.
Priorities for the new facility included improving access for all, the building set to be wheelchair accessible whilst also featuring disabled and unisex toilet facilities, as well as student welfare.
Heating is of paramount importance. Where the Trust focuses the vast majority of its activities in outdoor environments, the building must provide a warm, safe indoor space to work in following studies and excursions at Home Farm, the estate’s organic, mixed farm, or in the Seeley Copse woodland area.
Owing to this pivotal requirement, Viessmann’s products were requested based on previous positive experience with Viessmann biomass boilers, which were installed in 2015 to provide heating and hot water for the estate’s Hound Lodge and Kennels buildings.
In line with Goodwood’s environmental credentials, it was decided to specify a Viessmann Vitocal 200-A air source heat pump (ASHP).
The heat pump is highly suitable within the context of the education centre’s requirements. Critically, it features innovative noise-reduction technology that will serve to both preserve the tranquillity of the surrounding area and not provide any unwanted classroom distractions or irritations during periods of learning.
Viessmann’s new Advanced Acoustic Design combines a sound-optimised fan that harmonises the acoustic frequency range with intelligent speed control to reduce airborne noise at full- and partial-load operation. This stifles the lower frequency sound of conventional heat pumps, which can be perceived as disturbing. The result is that the pumps are barely audible: noise pressure in night mode at a distance of three metres is a mere 35 dB(A).
Beyond its noise-reduction technology, the Vitocal 200-A also features a compact monobloc design, with separate indoor and outdoor units connected by water pipes. Maximum flow temperature is up to 60°C when the temperature outdoors is as low as -10°C, and the energy rating of both new Vitocal heat pumps is A++.
The Vitocal 200-A installation was undertaken by Thakeham. No refrigeration leak test was required because the cooling circuit is hermetically sealed, and no F-gas certificate is needed because the connecting pipes to the outdoor unit are filled with water.
The heat pump is simple to operate thanks to a dedicated control unit that features easy-to-read plain text and graphic display. Controls can be altered anywhere via the Vitoconnect web interface and free ViCare smartphone app.
Generated by the Vitocal 200-A, underfloor heating is provided to a well-insulated building, ensuring it is kept at a constant, comfortable 18 degrees.
The new building has been transformational from the charity’s perspective. It is a much warmer, safer, more comfortable environment than the previous hut and it can now house additional learning activities.
Where approximately 3,000 children visited the site pre-COVID pandemic, the new facility will help to transform the Trust’s activities in future, allowing the charity to deliver on its charitable objectives of teaching children and young people about food, farming and the natural environment, achieved through a range of ventures including school day visits, Forest School, residential stays at The Stables and taking part in Open Farm Sunday.
Come September 2021, when school visits are expected to return in earnest, Goodwood is well placed to allow the estate to be enjoyed by many more children thanks to the new facility.
Education organisations who would like to learn more about visits to Goodwood Estate can contact the Education Officer via firstname.lastname@example.org.