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It is a sad fact that schools are increasingly under attack. Designing and building in security at the outset is be best way to provide cost effective protection while avoiding turning school buildings into something resembling prisons.

School security shutters need not be an ugly add-on. This principle is elegantly proven at Temple Primary School, a new 500 pupil facility in North Manchester. Designed by DLA Architecture the school was built under the PFI initiative, financed by the Norwich Union PPP Fund and operated by its partner Mill Group. Shutters here are built into the external wall, not built on as an afterthought. This makes them quick and easy to deploy, thanks to the use of Elero motors and controls. These are key components of RSL's, Total System, which comprises the structural lintel, shutter guides and drive.

DLA's brief was to create a landmark building that would be a source of pride and inspiration to the community, in a deprived city suburb with high crime levels. The architectural solution combines the best of traditional construction with an element of design flair. The two-storey, steel-framed structure, is clad in red brick with coloured render panel features. The blue rendered spine wall winds through the building and into the to storey high atrium that forms the central circulation space.

There are 35 shutters in use on the ground floor windows. Using the RSL patented structural lintel system the shutters are built into the walls. There are no external shutter boxes. The shutter box is in line with and supports the wall structure, while guide rails run within the wall cavity. This gives a closure that is almost unseen during the day and much more attractive and stronger when in use. Most shutters span 2.3 metres but there are some spans of up to 4.5 metres. They are made from high strength extruded lath, finished in blue to RAL 4016 to match the rendering and other design elements.

Drive and control systems are by Elero. These allow teachers to control the shutters in each classroom, while a master override point is provided near the main exit to give maximum convenience. During the day, teachers can fully or part deploy shutters to regulate sunlight during AV shows or to avoid outside distractions. A 20 percent perforation in the shutters avoids any feeling of claustrophobia. When the building is closed at night, the master switch ensures that all windows are fully protected.

The Elero motors have an automatic lock facility to give an added measure of security. Designed for long life the motors carry a five-year guarantee. Alarms, CCTV and security fencing complete the security package at the school.

More information: Paul Connor, Elero UK Ltd, Tel. 0870 240 4219 Fax. 0870 240 4086
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