Ystrad Mynach College, Caerphilly, UK

About the Building

The new Ystrad Mynach College building in Caerphilly is a four-storey teaching block that includes general classrooms, a hair and beauty studio, a learning resource centre and a new refectory and kitchen facilities. It is being constructed within the existing site of the building being replaced, which was a two-storey teaching block dating from the 1960s – when the College was first commissioned.

The aim is to build a new, high quality facility that meets Ystrad Mynach College’s ever increasing aspirations. With a gross internal area of 1435m2, it will provide much needed expansion space for the College, which continues to grow in response to the needs of the local area. Construction of the building is due to be completed in July 2010.

The project is majority funded by the Welsh Assembly for whom a critical requirement was that the building achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Further information

Key Facts

  • BREEAM rating: Excellent,
  • Score: 72.52%,
  • Size: 1435m2,
  • Stage: Design & Procurement,
  • BREEAM version: Further Education.

Overview of Environmental Features

The key environmental features of the building include:

  • Biomass boiler,
  • Planted green roof,
  • Natural ventilation,
  • Use of low environmental impact materials, such as in the laminated timber frame structure.  The building achieved 7 of 7 credits for BREEAM MW1: Materials Specification - Major Building Elements,
  • Rainwater recycling for WC flushing,
  • Free cooling using night time cooling,
  • Low-flow sanitary ware.

The BREEAM Assessment

The building scored well across all BREEAM categories, achieving 100% in the Water category and 80% or more in the Health & Wellbeing and Land Use & Ecology categories.

Building Services

The College includes a biomass boiler, which contributes to the excellent energy performance, with a 31% improvement over building regulations.

The building is naturally ventilated, and incorporates night time cooling with high thermal mass. It also incorporates rainwater recycling for WC flushing.

Green Strategy

Every material and design element of the building has been scrutinised to achieve the best rating possible. Particular areas of excellence include:

  • The building footprint – the footprint of the new, larger teaching block has been kept within that of the building that was removed,
  • The provision of a green roof and water attenuation on the site,
  • The installation of a biomass system to replace the existing boiler,
  • The use of a natural ventilation strategy, with windows linked to a building management system to control building cooling over night.

Project Team Details

  • Developer: Ystrad Mynach College,
  • Project Manager: BNP Paribas Real Estate,
  • Architect: AWW Architects,
  • M&E Engineers: Jones King Partnership,
  • Contractor: Midas Construction,
  • Ecologist: Ecosulis,
  • Structural Engineer: Structures1,
  • BREEAM Assessor: AECOM,
  • Cost Consultants: Cyril Sweett,
  • CDM Co-ordinator: Cyril Sweett,

Steve Davies, Estate Manager,
Ystrad Mynach College said:

“By including the latest energy saving devices and sustainable processes, BREEAM will enable the College to reduce running costs while providing a comfortable environment for both learners and staff.  This also promotes an interest in sustainability, which is becoming more and more a part of the curriculum.”

Ystrad Mynach College 470 x 110px


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