Gateway to the Valleys – Bridgend
The £39m, 14,833m² project, which is part of the Gateway to the Valleys (G2V) scheme, represents one of the largest single investments in a shared community and education building in Wales. The new community campus, a 39 acre site, incorporates a 1,570 place comprehensive school and a 6,500 sq ft dedicated community facility. This includes a café, a multi-agency hub, child care unit and provides for various other community activities.
Scott Brownrigg Architects together with main contractor Leadbitter, a subsidiary of Bouygues UK, were briefed to produce this exemplar building for Bridgend County Borough Council. It replaces the earlier school buildings that were both energy inefficient and not fit for purpose with a new building that is environmentally and economically sustainable. The Welsh Assembly Government required the building to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent to support the agenda of reducing carbon emissions. In fact, the high levels of sustainability incorporated in the school’s design meant it was the first in Wales to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating at the design stage, with an impressive score of 89.92%. The project also won the 2013 UK BREEAM Education Award.
Applicator M & P Contractors, Tonypandy, was contracted for the application of the 3000m² weber.rend MTlightweight system. This multi-coat system incorporates glass fibre meshcloth reinforcement and a resin-rich adhesive coat that carries a choice of textured finishes in a wide range of colours. The clean aesthetic lines of the building are enhanced by the striking finish.
To create the weber.rend MT system an initial coat of weber.rend LAC lightweight adhesive is pump applied onto a stable timber or metal frame panelled background which achieves good adhesion. The meshcloth is laid in and a second spray-applied coat of weber.rend LAC is applied. A smooth, flawless finish is achieved in preparation for weber PR310, a pigmented primer, which reduces the suction levels in preparation for the top coat to achieve uniform colour and texture. weber.sil TF silicone-based, decorative finish has been hand applied and provides a highly weather resistant, vapour permeable and protective solution. weber.rend MT is ideal for large areas without the need for expressed joints making it a fast, efficient system in conjunction with modern methods of construction
The G2V scheme incorporates many passive design features delivering a building that has, in use, low energy demands allowing maximum use of natural daylight, avoiding excessive solar gain and glare, and providing good ventilation. Additional energy requirements are offset by renewable technologies and heating is provided via a biomass boiler to deliver 78% of the annual heating load.