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Ysgol Ffwrnes, Llanelli

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Ysgol Ffwrnes, Llanelli

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Ysgol Ffwrnes, Llanelli

A ground breaking school in Wales and the first primary school to achieve BREEAM Outstanding

Ysgol Ffwrnes is a mid-sized replacement primary school in Llanelli town centre. It caters for ages 3-11 years old and had a contract value of £14million. Carmarthenshire County Council are the building owners.

The project needed to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent to align with the current funding requirements of the Welsh Government, however the design team (which included the client and main contractor) established at an early stage that the project could achieve a higher rating with minimal uplift in cost provided a consistent approach to overall sustainability was maintained.

The specific BREEAM credits the team chose to target were designed to benefit the school and its users over the building’s lifetime and not simply to push the building over the Outstanding threshold. It was important to the client that the building would not only be an exemplar for future school buildings across Wales, but could also demonstrate that some of the ‘trickier’ to achieve credits could be delivered more easily than generally perceived if the whole design and construction teams bought into the concept and acted collectively to make it work.

This aims to allow for future schemes in the local authority area to replicate any successful processes and be a progressive step forward in sustainability in general for other schemes. Reduced running costs over the building’s life span which was a key measure of success for the client and the various technologies and passive design included in the school’s design to help create the sustainable core provided this.

Ysgol Ffwrnes is shortlisted in the BREEAM Awards 2017

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Green Strategy

  • A 20,000 litre rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater from the roof for flushing toilets. The tank capacity when full is enough to cover over 4000 flushes.
  • 700m² array of photovoltaic panels on the roof, with excess electricity exported to the grid.
  • Air Source Heat Pumps absorb heat from outside and then used to heat the internal spaces.
  • Use of Natural ventilation maximised and to ensure it is being used to its full potential C0² monitoring system has been incorporated. This helps in maintaining a comfortable environment for users without large energy consumption.
  • The building is designed to operate as zero carbon in use.

The building has numerous details which have been implemented to provide the most comfortable user environment, whilst not increasing the energy demand on the building. These include:

  • Solar shading to limit solar gains
  • Solar control glass to the South facing glazing, again to limit solar gains
  • High levels of thermal insulation to walls and roof to reduce heat lost
  • Natural ventilation strategies

A life-cycle costing analysis was carried out at design stage, this resulting in materials and systems being chosen that:

  • Have the lowest building energy consumption over the operational life span of the building (compared to other options / alternatives analysed)
  • Reduce the maintenance requirement / frequency throughout the building’s life-cycle
  • Provide the best replacement intervals of services infrastructure / systems or building fabric
  • Provide the possibility of recycling or reuse of building components when dismantled

Key Facts

  • BREEAM rating: Outstanding
  • Score: 85.9%
  • Size: 3,100m²
  • Stage: Post-Construction (Fully Fitted)
  • BREEAM version: Education 2008

Project Team

  • Client:  Carmarthenshire County Council
  • Architect:  Austin Smith Lord
  • BREEAM Assessor:  Melin Consultants
  • Contractor:  WRW Construction
  • Electrical / Mechanical: SABA Consult
  • C&S: CB3 Consult
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"The school is equipped with 700m² of photovoltaic panels which result in revenue receipts for the Council. Excess energy generated by these panels will be sold back to the grid, generating an income for Carmarthenshire County Council. The building has been designed to be carbon neutral in use and minimise energy, this will not only minimise the building's effect on the environment, it should also reduce the water and energy bill the school receives."

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