Kawneer systems help a new school break records

One of Wales’ largest schools features glazing systems by Kawneer.

Architectural aluminium systems from Kawneer were specified for a record-breaking school in Wales for their “reliability”.

Kawneer’s AA®100 capped curtain walling and low/medium-duty swing and series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors were specified by frequent Kawneer users architects Scott Brownrigg throughout the Gateway to the Valleys (Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen) secondary school in Bridgend. These are complemented by AA®541 top-hung BRE Green Guide A+-rated and Secured by Design casement windows.

The new secondary school and community campus represents one of the largest single investments in a shared community and education building in Wales. The new community campus, on an existing 39-acre site, incorporates a 1,570-place comprehensive school for pupils aged 11 to 18 and a 604m2 dedicated community facility which includes a café, a multi-agency hub and child care unit.

The school is conceived as a series of “colleges” grouped around a community heart space rotunda, the geometries derived from existing axes and from specific references to elements found within the existing context.

The scheme won the BREEAM Education Award 2013 and is the first BREEAM Outstanding high school of its type in the UK. It was designed and delivered through BIM, which brought clear benefits to the client, design and construction team alike.

The Kawneer systems were installed over 15 months by approved specialist sub-contractor Dudley’s Aluminium for main contractor Bouygues UK

Scott Brownrigg director Jon James said: “We have used Kawneer’s systems many times before. They are a reliable product and BREEAM Outstanding buildings require the majority of materials to be A or A+ Green Guide rated. The curtain walling was used to provide quality light in and views in and out of the building.

Headteacher Andrew Warren added: “The design itself is truly stunning. Scott Brownrigg had a very real and deep understanding of how the space could be used to support educational innovation and transformation.

“Much more than this has been the truly exceptional level of engagement that Scott Brownrigg has had with the whole of the school and the wider community. Without this level of real engagement, real partnership and real energy we would not be where we are now, occupying a most iconic and world-class building. There is no doubt we have the best school building in Wales and quite probably the UK.”

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