Horbury High School, Wakefield

A unique raft incorporating HCP Radiant Heating Panels and SAS600 Acoustic Lighting Rafts was designed for Horbury High School.

Key features




Wakefield MBC


NPS NorthEast Ltd

Main contractor

Miller Construction

Completion year


System type

SAS600, Radiant Panels, Rafts & Modules

Area M2

584 linear metres


United Kingdom

Product Groups

At the new Horbury High School in Wakefield an innovative ceiling raft was specified by the architects NPS North East, and M&E Consultants Silcock Leedham LLP, to meet stringent acoustic, lighting and energy efficiency requirements. A unique raft incorporating HCP Radiant Heating Panels and SAS System 600 Acoustic Lighting Rafts was designed.

The rafts were located with lighting and luminance levels in mind, to ensure the most comfortable and productive working environment for the occupants. The rafts were therefore typically located at a height of 2700mm.

The new School was designed to achieve a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating. To achieve this, and reduce summer overheating, the building incorporates exposed concrete soffits to provide thermal buffering. Rafts are perfect for buildings that use passive or mixed mode FES (Fabric Energy Storage) systems. Suspended directly from the open soffit they allow free air movement across the exposed concrete, maximising its thermal buffering capabilities and allowing night time cooling to take place.

At Horbury, radiant heating panels alternate between the SAS600 sections to create a novel solution. Radiant heating is one of the most comfortable and energy efficient forms of heating available.

Sloped debris protectors were also incorporated on the top-side of the rafts to ensure rubbish could not build up.

Silcock Leedham LLP’s Andrew Kirkham, Mechanical Building Services Engineer, commented: “HCP was chosen as we had complete confidence that it would be able to work with us on the design and manufacture of this bespoke solution. Combining the heating with the acoustic lighting rafts ensures a comfortable teaching environment is achieved whilst allowing us to utilise the thermal properties of the concrete floors.”

The HCP Radiant Heating panels contain approximately one seventh the amount of water in a traditional radiator system, which results in a reduction in plant size and energy consumption. They also maximise space by eliminating the need for wall or floor mounted units, whilst also offering excellent comfort and easy maintenance and cleaning.

Manufactured from metal, the combined heating, lighting and acoustic rafts were also favoured because of the exceptional life span and minimal maintenance costs offered by the material, which is also 100% recyclable at end of life. The radiant heating panels have low operating costs, as well as minimal maintenance requirements, which is a key consideration as whole-life costs become increasingly important.

To minimise disruption to the existing school the proposals include the phased new build and demolition over a two-year period.

Systems used