Sheerness Museum and Library
THe Brief was to Adapt and extend the nineteenth-Century church, converting it to a museum and art gallery.
The museum and art gallery focuses on the maritime and aeronautical history of Sheerness-on-Sea, and the rest of the Isle of Sheppey. This involves restoring, adapting and extending the Sheerness Royal Naval Dockyard Church. The church is a Grade II* listed building, but after being gutted in a fire in 2001, is currently derelict and on Historic England's Heritage At Risk Register.
Construction and Environment
These details were worked out and drawn up for the Technology and Environment section of the module.
The new roof of the church will be a space frame, a structure formed of geometric shapes that can span long distances, supported near the walls by wood-clad columns. This supports the skylights, a key part of the lighting strategy of the museum. These are north-facing as north light comes from the blue or overcast sky, not the sun, so is a more neutral colour and has less variation in brightness.
Forming the join between the new roof and zinc-capped existing walls is the drainage, with a ring of glass performing a similar function for the library pod. The structure of the roof is hidden, on the inside, by a sheet of fabric, which also acts as a light diffuser to protect the museum's artefacts.
The extension is mainly constructed from wood, sustainable as it literally grows on trees. It is also one of the products handled by the port adjacent to the site, decreasing transportation costs.
The heating and ventilation strategies for the museum, especially the church, have been designed to reduce environmental impact.
To keep conditions comfortable throughout the year, continuous background ventilation will be provided by MVHR - mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. This means that the heat from the stale air is recovered and used to warm the fresh air, decreasing fuel use. The fuel in question is locally sourced wood chip. This powers the biomass boiler that heats the water needed for the underfloor heating, chosen as it is the most efficient way to heat the space.
In summer, the heat exchanger can be bypassed to prevent overheating. Slot vents above the windows also allow increased heat loss as they open automatically with high temperatures or humidity. This is assisted by bringing the fresh air into the building through the foundation void below the church. As it is underground, the temperature stays constant so it cools the air in summer and heats it in winter.