Building Project of the Year 2023

Hafon Yr Afon - Pave Aways Building Contractors, Open Newtown, Architype, Smith Thomas


Category sponsored by CLAW.GIF

Hafan Yr Afon has provided Newtown with a new landmark to support tourism, social enterprises, and health and wellbeing whilst being an exemplar for sustainable design and construction.

A key facet of the Pave Aways philosophy was to contribute materially to the communities where they work and live. This meant that they took great pride in the buildings they constructed, whilst providing employment for their local staff and the local supply chain.

Due to the budget constraints, they embarked on a value engineering process whilst keeping in mind the final vision that the client wanted to achieve. A total of 40% saving was achieved through innovative design changes agreed with the Client – and by also offering commercial savings against their preliminaries and adjusting their method of working to make the scheme more affordable, they ensured that the project could go ahead, and a cost-effective solution was delivered.

Construction challenges were in relative terms easy to manage, working to Passivhaus standards and on the banks of the river were managed by their contracts team using their knowledge from previous sites. The proximity to the river meant erecting secure fencing around the boundary to keep local wildlife safely away.

Dynamic communication throughout the project meant that progress was discussed regularly with all stakeholders. Despite the challenges faced at varying stages of the project, a practical solution was always realised to deliver the original vision of the plan. Excellent collaboration with all parties led to delivering an outstanding, multi-functional asset for Newtown and surrounding areas.

The iconic building has achieved an EPC A+ rating, and along with an air source heat pump and 104.3m² of PV panels installed, it offers a sustainable and affordable solution to keep energy costs down. Triple glazed windows showcase the fantastic view of the green space and river, whilst also maintaining the thermal efficiency of the building.

Built with essence of BREEAM in mind throughout the build, and with the fabric of the building built to Passivhaus standard, the finished community hub is an innovative landmark for the area. Seasonal commissioning of the building ensures that users of the building has the knowledge to maintain its full potential year-round. The facility allows the charity to engage with the community and tourists alike to promote their ethos of wellbeing, kindness, sanctuary, inclusiveness, and biodiversity.

Without a doubt, this project has transformed the area and has made its green spaces surrounding the River Severn accessible to all within the community and beyond.