Eight of the most sustainable new buildings in Wales received BREEAM Awards on 29 June, at the 2012 Constructing Excellence in Wales Awards at SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.
Having all been independently assessed and certified as achieving at least “Excellent” BREEAM ratings, these buildings showcase genuine sustainability and represent some of the best examples of sustainable design and construction in the UK and the world.
The £7.7m Crownbridge School provides a modern, flexible, special-educational-needs teaching and learning facility for pupils (aged 3-19) with a range of physical and learning disabilities. The building has been designed as an educational tool – for example, teaching rooms have mechanical and electrical services on show to demonstrate ventilation and acoustic environmental issues, and part of the external wall has a cut-away section demonstrating how insulation is used to control heat loss from the building. More information
The new £18 million Mountain Halls development on the Treforest campus provides 476, purpose built student residences. The accommodation has been designed sympathetically with the local environment and is fully secure, with 24 hour CCTV coverage and on-site security. Proactive on-site management ensures reduced energy and water consumption, whilst maintaining best practice air and water pollution principals. More information
This new, 356-pupil primary school incorporates an early year’s unit, community areas and a community-donated multi-use games area. The site design allows for outdoor classrooms and habitat areas for outdoor learning opportunities. The school has a comprehensive energy and water metering strategy that is linked to a BMS system, allowing pupils to access the data for educational purposes. Its sustainability features include solar/wind powered street lights, solar hot water panels, a mini weather station and rainwater harvesting. Data from these can be accessed via display panels and an LCD display in the school foyer. More information
This building provides further education in the skills required for students to work in the energy sector, including the welding and steel fabrication skills that are needed for nuclear decommissioning at the nearby Wylfa Power Station. In achieving its funding requirement to gain a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the building has also met the College’s requirements for an innovative, sustainable building. More information
The Hadyn Ellis Medical Research Facility, the first building in Cardiff University’s Maindy Campus Development, houses state-of-the-art facilities for university research. The five-storey building includes an exhibition and atrium, 150-person lecture theatre, café, seminar suite, research clinic, graduate school, research support services and administrative facilities. Sustainability was a key element of the University’s brief to the design team which was set the target of BREEAM ‘Excellent’. The building will therefore have a positive impact on the local community and stakeholders and minimised impact on the environment. More information
This 5,800m2,five storey clinical research and trials facility is a joint venture between Swansea University and the Abertawe/Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust. The aim was to deliver a sustainable building – in construction and in use – within the constraints of an environment suitable for clinical research and trials facilities. The design team worked collaboratively with existing university research departments. This enabled them to focus on the detailed requirements of each specialist department, whilst achieving a building with high levels of sustainability. More information
The Roath Lock Studios house the new BBC Wales production facilities for various programmes, including Dr Who, Casualty, Pobol y Cwm and Upstairs Downstairs, as well as future productions. Early consultation with the users to dictate the design and layout of the accommodation helped to deliver a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. The building’s sustainability features include 300m2 of photovoltaics on the roof, gas fired CHP for heating the offices, rainwater harvesting, the use of responsibly sourced materials and the diversion of 96% of waste from landfill. More information
The HQ for Countryside Council for Wales refurbishment scheme is a prime example of how clients, consultants, owners and contractors can work together to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. It was imperative that the building would reflect the sustainability ethos of Countryside Council for Wales. Energy use has been reduced through improved insulation coupled with the introduction of photovoltaics, sub-metering for monitoring of energy use, low energy lighting and an efficient lift installation. The building is located near excellent transport links, the travel plan encourages cycling and the ecology of the site is being improved. More information
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