Excellence in Engineering


Chailey Heritage School

Chailey Heritage School in East Sussex is a non-maintained nationally recognised residential special school for children with multiple profound learning and physical disabilities.

Crofton was commissioned by the trustees of the school to design and supervise the Mechanical and Electrical Services in an ongoing phased site development plan.

The first phase was for the new 1,500 sq m purpose built primary school unit. As well as being the new entrance to the school (its public face) it will also provide a caring and stimulating environment for the children.

Crofton was alert to the special needs of the children when designing and installing the building services, with great emphasis being placed on lighting in order to create a visually stimulating environment.

All pupils at Chailey use powered wheelchairs and a unique wheelchair guidance system, developed by the school, is incorporated into the whole building.  The system uses signal generator wires embedded in the floor, which emit signals picked up by receivers located on every child's wheelchair.  Pupils at Chailey can now enjoy the freedom of moving independently within the school, as well as between buildings, with no need for a care assistant.

The second phase works involved the refurbishment and redevelopment of existing primary school and associated hygiene accommodation to provide similar facilities for children of 16+. In addition, clinical bedded accommodation was provided to attend to any unwell child.

Electrical services included automatic opening doors, voice and data services, a track hoist system to assist staff in moving children without injuring themselves and versatile user controllable lighting.

Mechanical services included under-floor heating, ventilation systems with particular regard to the hygiene unit.