Williamstown Primary School

  • Location

    Rhondda Cynon Taf

  • Client

    Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

  • Value

    £7.2m

  • Completion

    2011

  • Size

    12 classrooms

  • BREEAM Rating

    'Excellent'

Sustainable design for work and play

For this BREEAM Excellent, £7.1m school, Stride Treglown were engaged by Rhondda Cynon Taf from inception to design a new primary school in Williamstown. We also undertook the role of NEC Supervisor and provided landscape design services in-house. We engaged a specialist sports pitch sub-consultant to detail, specify and oversee the construction of the brand new football pitch. The project replaced the old Williamstown Primary School with a new 360 pupil, 12 class facility incorporating landscaped playground spaces, a new sports field and a dedicated special educational needs unit. Community facilities were fully integrated, and the scheme housed dual-use community changing facilities with direct access to the new, relocated football pitch and parking area.

Designing around a central meeting point

Beneath its undulating roof, the new school’s classrooms are clustered around a generous, top lit shared central heart space, a key design element in the final solution and the focal point for the school. Each pair of classrooms were arranged around this shared zone. Lit from high level by clerestorey windows it is now home to the school library providing a venue for small group activities and independent learning for the older pupils; children from different classes can meet together and work together. The space also has a practical function, acting as a large chimney, crucial to the ventilation strategy, drawing air through the classrooms and out of the high level windows above.

Energy efficient and recycled materials 

The school is highly insulated and achieved a very low air leakage of only 2.3, helping to reduce its energy consumption and its annual carbon emissions to a predicted 11.4kg of CO2 per m2. Great care was taken during construction to protect and enhance local ecology through habitat improvements to the banks of the waterways which run through the site. Around 15% of the construction materials used in the project were from recycled sources.

I can honestly say that from the appointment of Stride Treglown, the journey was a pleasurable one from the outset. Their professionalism and attention to detail was impressive and the quality of information that was provided was superb at every stage of the scheme.

Communication was key to the success of this project where Stride Treglown played a large role. Clearly interpreting our brief and capturing all requirements in the final design was a straightforward process and all their staff were approachable and professional. Every meeting was attended without fail even at short notice, clearly illustrating that the project was adequately resourced throughout. I would welcome the opportunity of working with Stride Treglown, especially the team that worked on Williamstown Primary School.

Simon Mantle, Project Manager Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council