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YSGOL BRO DINEFWR, LLANDEILO, WALES


Rather than a classic apex-pitch roof, the pavilions boast an angled step shape


a career in catering, and even provide an area that can be set up as a “simulated” restaurant.


Autism-friendly


Also set back from the pavilions is the autistic special education needs unit. Here, aspects of the design differs from other parts of the school. The double-height corri- dor approach has been abandoned because of safety considerations. In addition, construction is more robust; for example, walls are blockwork instead of the impact- resistant plaster board used in the rest of the school.


All images © Phil Boorman PROJECT DETAILS


Main contractor: Bouygues UK Architecture, Landscape & Interior Design: Austin-Smith:Lord Cost Consultant: Faithful & Gould Civil & Structural Engineers: CB3 Consult MEP Engineers: SABA Consult Planning Consultant: Asbri Acoustic Consultant: Hunter Acoustics BREEAM Assessor: Melin Energy Fire Engineer: Trenton Fire Catering Designer and Subcontractor: Shine MEP Subcontractor: Whitehead Specialist Sports Pitches: South Wales Sports Ground Roofing: Central Cladding Windows, doors and curtain walling: Denval Fixed furniture: T S Booker


insulation and thermal values for external materials may be less ‘sexy’ but will make major sustainability gains.” Moreover, an extensive array of photo- voltaic panels have been positioned on south-facing roofs pitches to help supply not only lighting but the high electricity demand for IT devices that any school now has.


Sports for all


The school’s sports hall is not only separated from the central pavilions to reduce the scale of the development – its separation underlines the potential for community use out of hours when the school is locked up. Lewis says: “Badminton, basketball and football facili- ties are provided to Sport England standard but come the end of the school day, these facilities aren’t used as much. Of course, making them available to the community also provides an income for the school. The 3G football pitches like those provided here often prove popular, although they are not floodlit because of the sensitivity of the location.”


Besides the kitchen, which any school of this size would have to provide food for its students, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr also offers vocational catering facilities, which it will share with other partnering Carmarthenshire schools. This entails a commercial kitchen layout which can offer learning opportunities to those considering


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Autistic pupils can be noise intolerant so the range of special therapy spaces makes use of acoustic measures like finishes selected to provide more absorption of sound. Classrooms have direct contact with the external landscape area because going outside can sometimes be part of a strategy to diffuse stressful situations. Finally, the outside play area features a soft, rubberised play surface.


Roman artefacts


Lewis admits Ysgol Bro Dinefwr had plenty of challenges. “Number one challenge was knowing not everyone was fully on board with the project. Number two was the budget: what had been initially presented to the school was just not affordable.” In the first few months of construction there was the added complication of what a geophysical survey (ground radar) discov- ered about the archaeological significance of the site. A Roman road believed to pass through the south-east corner of the site was confirmed. The survey also showed a number of circular shadows, believed to be Bronze-age ring ditches, in the proposed playing field area and under the northern part of the building footprint. This assumption was confirmed through excavation.


A phased relocation of students was completed last year and the new school is now fully occupied. Lewis concludes: “I've been back since completion and it’s really nice to see the students learning and having fun in play spaces – it’s good to see that it’s working.”


ADF JUNE 2017


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