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Leadbitter celebrates start of work at first BREEAM Outstanding school facility in Wales

6 Dec 11 Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has attended a ground breaking ceremony to mark the start on-site of a new flagship secondary education campus in Bridgend County Borough " the first education project in Wales on target to be awarded a BREEAM Outstanding rating.

Constructed by the Leadbitter Group, the 14,000 square metre Coleg Cymundeol Y Dderwen building is set to open at the start of the new school year in 2013. The new facilityin Tonduwill cater for 1,570 pupils aged 11–18 and incorporate extensive community facilities for use outside of school hours.

The £34 million project is a significant investment for Bridgend County Borough Council, which has secured substantial funding from the Welsh Government’s school building transitional funding to assist with the delivery of this major scheme.  Coleg Cymundeol Y Dderwen is also the first project to be awarded under the South East Wales Schools Capital Programme (SEWSCAP) Framework in Wales.

The project includes a host of innovative and low-impact design features, including the use of a combined heat and power system. Highly energy-efficient, it provides the opportunity to serve the nearby existing swimming pool and residential home, as well as the school, with surplus electricity being fed into the national grid. Natural daylight and fresh air ventilation are also included in the sustainable design.

Facilities include a four court sports hall, activity studio and main hall. The building design has been future-proofed for ease of accommodating changes in teaching practice. Corridors have been virtually eliminated with the space reused for informal learning in an approach that makes staff supervision easier and has been shown to improve pupil behaviour.

The school is set to be the first education building in Wales to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating—surpassing the required 85% score. Leadbitter has also set a benchmark to achieve a minimum of 36 out of 40 under the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

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Rob Bradley, Regional Director of Leadbitter’s Western Construction Division said: “It is hugely rewarding to be part of a project which is set to raise the bar—both in the sector and the region—in terms of truly sustainable buildings.

“I am delighted that we will be the first UK contractor to deliver a BREEAM Outstanding educational building in Wales. It serves to demonstrate the depth of skills Leadbitter has to offer on projects such as this.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “The Welsh Government is committed to making sure that every child in Wales is educated in an environment that is expected for the 21st Century. The £26 million we have invested in this site will help provide state-of-the art facilities for the next generation of pupils to learn and reach their full potential.

“I look forward to seeing the project come to fruition, on time and on budget. I wish all involved well and look forward to visiting the new school and particularly to seeing how the new environment will encourage and promote learning.”

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