CLAW Celebrates 50 Years of Collaboration by Welsh Local Authorities

CLAW members celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of CLAW when they met at the Spring Elected Members meeting hosted by the Vale of Glamorgan in March 2012. The event was held at the Dyffryn Gardens on 15th and 16th March 2012 and included a visit to the Millennium Centre Cardiff, arranged by the Carbon Trust in Wales, to learn about the way the centre is progressing with its aim for achieving environmental excellence.

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  Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Members were given a presentation by staff at the Centre on the way in which efforts are being made to reduce the Carbon footprint of the building. In recent years the Centre has been striving to reduce energy costs and run the building in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Centre has developed a Sustainability Charter to guide all operations within the building and which was officially signed in June 2011.

The award winning iconic building was opened in 2004. The Architects, Percy Thomas, separated the design of the structure from the design of the acoustic and architectural enclosures, and embarked on what was to be a unique building programme, allowing construction from the inside out. This innovative approach allowed for refinements in architectural and acoustic design to take place, the results of which CLAW members were able to experience during their visit to the building.

In February 2011 the centre gained a Silver Award for Access Excellence in recognition of the centre’s achievements in going well beyond the statutory requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

The Spring Elected members’ dinner was held during the evening of 15th when CLAW was able to officially celebrate the occasion of the 50th anniversary.

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 CLAW Chairman Councillor Keith Evans with Officers and Members

On 16th the Carbon Trust in Wales gave a presentation on the findings of their Carbon Management Review programme carried out during 2011 and the early part of 2012. All 22 Welsh Local Authorities accepted an invitation to participate in a national study to review the current status and commitment to Carbon management. Members were informed that the project was arranged in three phases covering data collection and analysis, local authority engagement and a series of dissemination workshops leading to final reporting. The study findings are to be shared with Welsh Government and will inform the Carbon Trust Wales’ future strategy for support for the public sector. Individual authorities have received their own authority specific reports and a national final report will be prepared to summarise the Welsh local authority position. Case studies of good practice were presented to the assembled membership by Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham Councils.

The presentations were followed by the Spring Elected members’ business meeting and the opportunity was then taken to record the 50th celebrations as CLAW members gathered on the steps of the Dyffryn Gardens House for photographs.

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 CLAW Chairman with (on the right) Paul Church Portfolio Member, Vale of Glamorgan, (back left) Gareth Nutt, Chairman of the Board of Nominated Officers and (left to right) presenters of papers Jane Wade, Vale of Glamorgan, Steve Jones, Carbon Trust Wales, Anna Wallace, Wrexham CBC and Karen Griffiths, Carbon Trust Wales

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 CLAW Chairman Councillor Keith Evans with Members of the CLAW Officers Steering Group

CLAW 2012 Annual General Meeting

The CLAW 2012 AGM was hosted by Flintshire County Council on 8th and 9th November 2012. Flintshire had organised an interesting programme of events for the delegates starting with a visit to the Airbus factory in Broughton to see the new Airbus North Factory assembly plant used to build wings for the new A350XWB Airbus range. The £400M factory and wing production facility with a floor area of 46000 m2 was opened by Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2011. Built to BREEAM Excellent standard the building incorporates a variety of environmental features including three photovoltaic solar arrays generating 22,500kWh to power lighting in various factory areas, wood pellet biomass boiler generating 830,000kWh, solar hot water system generating more than 30% of the facility’s hot water requirements and a 100kWh air source heat pump for under floor heating.

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 CLAW delegates visiting the new Ysgol Gynradd Cae’r Nant/Brookfield School, Flintshire

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 Delegates visiting Ysgol Gynradd Cae’r Nant/Brookfield School, Flintshire

Members then travelled to visit the new Ysgol Gynradd Cae’r Nant/Brookfield School. The school was built by Read Construction under a partnering contract with Flintshire County Council that enabled many cost savings to be achieved during the design stages. The school was completed in 2012 and accommodates 390 children from nursery stage through to year 6 The construction required extensive cut and fill and incorporates a timber framed structure, sedum roof and natural ventilation. The building is built to BREEAM Excellent rating.

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 Cllr.Ann Minshull, Chairman of Flintshire County Council with other guests at the 2012 CLAW Annual Dinner hosted by Flintshire County Council

At the Member’s Dinner the 2012 winners of the CLAW Building of the Year Award, Sustainability Award and Commendation Award were announced and awards presented. The winner of the CLAW Building of the Year for 2012 was the REGAIN building at The Works, Ebbw Vale, designed by Stride Treglown for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. The judges were impressed by the elegance and simplicity of the design concept for this business incubator unit. The judges were also very impressed with the quality of the projects designed by in-house teams. The winner of the 2012 CLAW Commendation Award was the Aberystwyth Town Library, County Archives and Day Centre for Ceredigion County Council. The winner of the 2012 CLAW Sustainability Award was Ysgol Glannau Gwaun, Fishguard for Pembrokeshire County Council. All construction aspects considered sustainability which was at the heart of the design

At the CLAW Annual General Meeting held on 9th November Councillor Wyn Evans of Carmarthenshire was elected Chairman of the Members’ Executive Committee and Councillor Bob Parry of Ynys Mon was elected as Vice Chairman, both appointments being for two years. At an earlier meeting Rob O’Dwyer (Monmouthshire) was elected Chairman of the Board of Nominated Officers and Maria Jones (Pembrokeshire) was elected as Vice Chairman, again both appointments being for two years.  Membership of the Officers Steering Group was also reviewed and those nominated to sit on this group were Rob O’Dwyer (Chair), Maria Jones, Mike Barton, Mark Davies, Keith Morgan, Jane Wade and Chris Davies. Thanks were given to those Members and officers who had held office during the past two years.

Following the AGM Members and Officers were given presentations on a variety of topics. Nick Beddoe of BRE Wales presented a case study on reducing energy consumption in new buildings that highlighted a number of thought provoking issues. Ed Evans of Constructing Excellence in Wales reported on the outcome of research into major projects delivery across Wales. Lovelock Mitchell Architects gave an informative presentation on the value and potential of Building Information System (BIM) which included a demonstration of BIM for a new primary school project located in Shotton, Flintshire.