We are currently on site with two new Passivhaus schools in Carmarthenshire, Ysgol Trimsaran and Ysgol Parc y Tywyn as part of the 21st Century Schools Welsh redevelopment programme.
Starting on site in August last year, Trimsaran is progressing quickly with Dawnus Construction.
Despite the beautiful hilltop setting, the original school was accommodated in a former air-hanger and in desperate need of replacement. The client, Carmarthenshire County Council, was keen to repeat the success of their recently completed project, Burry Port Community Primary School, (the first Passivhaus school in Wales,) with another Passivhaus School for the county.
The new 1 form-entry school will take advantage of the beautiful views surrounding the site, and will employ a simple yet elegant palette of materials that reflect the areas local heritage of Welsh brick production, softened with areas of Welsh larch timber cladding.
The main school is now watertight with the timber frame and windows recently finalised. This progress has allowed the first air test to take place on the main building, which gave us a good result of 0.38 air changes per hour n50 or 0.642m3/m2/h air permeability q50, all in line with Passivhaus certification standards.
The adjacent Flying Start nursery provision is also nearing this stage, expected to be watertight in the next few weeks. Overall completion is expected this summer, giving staff time to prepare their classrooms before the pupils start back at their new school in September.
Ysgol Parc y Tywyn
Just 5 miles away, in the coastal settlement of Burry Port, the groundworks for Ysgol Parc y Tywyn have been completed.
Similarly to Trimsaran, the school is another addition to Carmarthenshire County Council’s Passivhaus legacy.
Previously accommodated by Carmarthen Bay Power Station, the new site for the school is also in a stunning location, situated on the Millennium Coastal Path and looking out over the Loughor Estuary.
As well as being Passivhaus compliant, the new school is also designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, supported in the design by the specification of natural materials. Welsh landscape architects, The Urbanisits, have also played an important role in the design of both schools, designing animated and environmentally conscience landscape strategies that encourage wildlife and respond contextually to the areas vegetation.
The structural frame will be erected in May, with the scheme completing early next year.