Building a Sustainable Education

Last week’s peer review demonstration event for Ysgol Ffwrnes proved once again that Welsh designers, engineers and builders are delivering value for the communities they serve and not just fulfilling the contractual obligations to their clients.

13th March 2014

Feedback from the presentation was excellent and matches the BREEAM Outstanding certification for its Design Stage. In fact it will be the first Primary School in Wales to be built to BREEAM Outstanding standards on its completion later this year.

What’s more it is well on track to meet all of its project targets. Contractor, WRW – one of the key supporters of CEW in West Wales – is delivering the project through Carmarthenshire Council's Modernising Education Programme. The £14.6 million new school in Llanelli is on target to finish in April 2015 and will provide two-form entry for 420 children. It has been funded by a £10.22 million Welsh Government grant, and £4.38 million from the council’s capital programme.

The key demonstration theme is the environmental performance of the building, reflected in its BREEAM status, and its contribution to lowering whole life costs. Various measures are included in the design to reduce energy demand, encourage eco-friendly behaviour and responsible use. The design team - Austin Smith Lord, SABA, CB3 and Melin Consult – have made sure that rainwater harvesting, external planting areas, renewable energy sources and other features are included and it is these things that caught the attention of some of the pupils on a site visit organised by WRW recently.

Head teacher Catherine Lloyd Jenkins said: "We are all very excited about the new building. The school council went up to see the ground works and the eco committee went to see the steel framework. They are very much looking forward to moving in there, and we used the opportunity of visiting to take photos, do some maths and build it into their class work. They loved being able to ask questions about the work being carried out."

Carmarthenshire Council's education executive board member Councillor Keith Davies said: "The current school was built in the Victorian era and is completely inadequate for the modern day.  All children deserve a school which offers high-quality accommodation and facilities, and that is what the children of Ysgol Ffwrnes can now look forward to.

"This is what our Modernising Education Programme is all about — giving every child in the county access to this kind of school."

Jon Williams of WRW said: “This is a great project and really rewarding because we can see that we are making a huge contribution to the community. The children love seeing what’s happening to their school and it is a great opportunity to create a learning experience for them by involving them in the process. But at the same time we educate them, their parents and the wider built environment community about environmentally friendly construction and how by working collaboratively we can deliver real, long term sustainable value.”