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Archbishop McGrath Catholic School in Bridgend, Wales by HLM Architects

[IMAGES + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] Designs for the new Archbishop McGrath Catholic School - the result of consultations with both teachers and pupils - have been granted planning consent

Currently located in Tondu, north of Bridgend, the school’s present buildings are in poor condition and the new school will be built on a new, more accessible site at Brackla in the heart of the town. The main school building will be built over three floors and will accommodate 750 pupils aged 11 to 18 including 150 sixth formers.

Archbishop McGrath acting head teacher Rev Dr Philip Manghan said: ‘The design team of HLM architects has listened to our hopes and aspirations regarding our new school, has involved us at every stage of the design and has ensured that our fundamental vision and mission for the school has been integral to the final design.’

HLM Architects said: ‘The main concept behind the design was to use core educational and social activities to drive the connection between classroom areas - spaces such as the main entrance foyer, sports hall, main hall and canteen tie the teaching spaces together. Flexible classrooms and workspaces will also be created to accommodate different class sizes and a range of teaching practices.

‘Building the school on three storeys makes more efficient use of land and will also be more energy efficient – the school will achieve BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating – and the efficient use of the site will also release more land for sports facilities. Natural ventilation and high density concrete floors which create thermal mass will provide passive temperature control while sustainably sourced materials have been specified where possible.’

Project data

Architects: HLM Architects
Location: Bridgend, Wales
Type Of Project: Secondary School
Structural Engineers: JUBB Consulting Engineers Ltd
Project Architect: Jamie Yeoman
Design Team: Richard O’Neil, Jonathon Jones, Scott Rowe, Martin Russell, Emilly Hadden
Landscape Architects: HLM Architects: Avra Ploumi, Siobhan Daniels
Interior Design: HLM Architects: Emilie Heinonen, Chevonne Small
Client: Archdiocese Of Cardiff
Funding: WAG, Brigend County Borough Council, Archdiocese of Cardiff
Tender date: November 2009
Start on site date: February 2010
Contract duration: 18 Months
Gross internal floor area: 8,449m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: NEC Option C
Total cost: £18m         
M&E consultant: ARUP
Quantity surveyor: Davis Langdon
Planning supervisor: Davis Langdon
Lighting consultant: Arup
Main contractor: Leadbitter Construction
Annual CO2 emissions: 20.2 KgCO2/m²/year

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