Project Name Ysgol Twm o’r Nant 
Project LocationRhyl Road, Denbigh, Denbighshire LL16 3DP
Contract Period54 weeks
Project Start Date (on site)29th July 2013
Practical Completion29th August 2014
Contract Value1377400
ArchitectDavid WhieldonDenbighshire County Council-Design, Construction & Maintenance
QS/Cost ConsultantsPeter HollisDenbighshire County Council-Design, Construction & Maintenance
Clerk of WorksRichard McFarland Denbighshire County Council-Design, Construction & Maintenance
Structural EngineerJonathan ParryCapita Symonds
Electrical EngineerGerwyn DaviesCarpenter Davies Partnership
Mechanical EngineerIan CarpenterCarpenter Davies Partnership
Planning SupervisorTom PriceDenbighshire County Council-Design, Construction & Maintenance
Main ContractorGraham DicksonWynne Construction
Building ControlMel RoylesMel Royles
Client Project ManagerCarwyn EdwardsCarwyn Edwards


Project Overview

Denbighshire’s Welsh medium and bilingual Education Strategic Development Group was established in July 2008 in response to the growing demand for Welsh medium education across the authority. The group has been influential in the development of Denbighshire’s Welsh Education Scheme 2010-13, where the need to expand provision in the north of the County has been identified as a key target. This proposal is in line with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Welsh medium Education Strategy.

One of the identified objectives was…

  • An extended / remodelled Ysgol Twm o’r Nant able to provide suitable permanent accommodation that consolidates the school in the short to medium term as a 210 1 Form Entry Welsh medium Primary. In addition, further ancillary accommodation (P.E, Halls and Dining) to support possible future growth of the site to a 315 1.5 Form Entry Welsh medium
  • Primary is also provided to build in future expansion flexibility if required following further reviews of primary provision in the area.

Shafts-of-light-in-the-new-HallA number of project specific objectives were set for this particular project, these are listed below:

  • Removal of 2 no. mobile accommodation saving £9,312 annually
  • Improved ancillary facilities to support staff wellbeing and professional development.
  • Improvements to facilities to support work underway to further develop school performance in the upper quartile of high performing schools.
  • Increase in availability of a hall space on the school timetable by at least 10 hours per week.
  • The site to have the capacity to accept up to 280 full time pupils thus providing the necessary extra capacity in the north of the county through which to meet the forecast growing demand for Welsh medium education at primary level;
  • Improved efficiency will provide real reductions in energy and resource consumption and carbon emissions per pupil / per m2.

There was an emphasis on this project in providing sustainability targets that would benefit the school, local neighborhood and Denbighshire County Council whilst complying with the funding requirements of the Welsh Government.

The scheme has been assessed against various WG funding criteria and achieves an EPC ‘A’ rating and was predicted to exceed 15% recycled content. Acoustic testing was undertaken and the scheme was found to be compliant with BB93.

By reducing outgoings on the mobile classrooms that were being used to deal with the pressure on the existing accommodation significant savings can be made on rental and energy costs and that was a factor in the economic case made for the project.

Engagement & Consultation

The project communication plan identified all stakeholders, their roles and method of communication. Engagement events, newsletters, press releases and an online blog were used to consult and share information.

Pupils and staff of Ysgol Twm o’r Nant participated in the project in various ways. The colours of the external cladding of the building were selected by consulting with pupils and staff. Internally the school were involved in selecting fixtures, fittings.

Pupils, staff, governors and local councillors visited the site during the construction of the extension. The contractor also invited the school to view construction events such as the installation of the precast concrete stairs with a crane. Governors and Local Councillors were important stakeholders as they provide a direct communication link with local residents.

Once the building was transferred to the school an open day took place to showcase the school to the community.

Health & Safety

Down-into-the-new-ExtensionDesign stage consultations involved the in house CDMC, to ensure compliance with all aspects of CDM2007.

The cluster group of three schools on the site all share facilities including the main and other access points. One of the schools on the site is for Special Needs students; early engagement identified that many of the students may have an adverse reaction to any disturbances in their normal procedure and environment. It was critical that the site traffic management plan and construction phase programme were produced in order to eliminate or minimize in so far as was reasonably practical any potential disturbances.

All preconstruction information including plans and details of hazardous materials were provided in the preconstruction information; this was followed up with detailed discussions with the appointed contractors regarding the Site Waste Management Plan, safe systems of construction, maintenance and deconstruction to contribute to their Construction Phase Plan and H&S file.

Prior to work commencing on site the users of Twm o’r Nant School were addressed in the Assembly Hall; this was to inform them of the project and the H&S risks associated with the construction. They were provided with plans of the project and the proposed programme to allow them to monitor progress as part of a school project. They were also asked to take note of all site safety signage.

During the construction first and second fix stages pupils and staff were escorted around the site with suitable PPE provided by the contractors.


The project is noteworthy for its departure from traditional external wall construction. The use of a proprietary cladding system ensured a highly effective thermally efficient external envelope. This approach chimed with Denbighshire’s to use products that reduce the burden of ongoing maintenance.

Although it is commonplace now to see natural ventilation turrets on school buildings the product chosen for this project did promise greater energy savings than many available. A ventilation housing is provided to each classroom which is effective both in winter and summer. In winter cold incoming air is mixed with warm outgoing air to minimize cold draughts. In summer warm air is exhausted through the units. The new ventilation units in a striking terra cotta complement the green of the cladding.

Allied to the natural ventilation system a BMS system was provided which can be accessed remotely by the local authority energy and maintenance teams.


A Post Occupation Evaluation will be undertaken towards the end of 2015 to enable the schools and the local authority to reflect on operations upon the site over a full 12 months period and after the completion of the formal snagging period.

In the short term, the school have provided the following feedback:

Head teacher , Nerys Davies said, “The last 12 months has presented a real challenge to the school in terms of keeping the school going during the work but the co-operation by Denbighshire and Wynne’s, the main Contractors has been first class in ensuring that the disruption to the school and local residents was kept to an absolute minimum. The positive reaction of parents and neighbours to the development of the school so far has been wonderful and has shown that some of the difficulties have been worthwhile.”


Enablers for Change

The development of this project has provided a benchmark against which Denbighshire can assess requirements for future ‘A’ energy rated buildings.

Denbighshire County Council have contributed to the current benchmarking exercise being undertaken by WG on educational buildings. The costs for this building are in the mid-range for this type of building. A feature of the design is the sculptural manner in which the roof appears to plunge through the external envelope to encase the internal wall of the new hall creating the impression of a shell-like carapace. It is an imaginative departure from the norm in classroom extensions. It may be that future funding regimes from WG leave less scope for creative solutions and simpler solutions will be required. This project was procured within the budget and the design and construction team worked hard to manage the complexities of the project.


The project has improved the working environment for staff and pupils dramatically bringing together the whole school under one roof with the removal of mobile classrooms.

The Sixties School with its flat roofs and a mix of rendered and facing brick external finishes was looking rather tired so these new extensions clad in a crisp cladding system in vibrant colours has had an uplifting impact for users and visitors alike.


The mechanical and electrical installations are highly efficient.

All lighting throughout the extension is high quality LED type. An automatic lighting control system has been installed. The controls within teaching and admin areas are ‘absence based’, ie the lighting is manually switched on and remains on until the room is unoccupied for 10 minutes at which time it will automatically switch off. The lighting within Stores, WC’s etc is presence based, ie the lights automatically switch on upon entry into the room and remain on until the room is unoccupied for 10 minutes at which time it will automatically switch off.

All classrooms and the assembly/Sports hall are naturally ventilated by use of opening windows and/or passive ventilation terminals.

The existing oil tank has been removed and a new gas supply provided to the school. The main boilers have been replaced with ultra-efficient condensing boilers and the fixed-speed heating pumps have been replaced with inverter controlled pumps. Zone control has been provided throughout the school on the heating systems to allow for reduced ‘out of hours’ occupation, improved control and efficiency.

All hot water to the new toilets is instantaneous.

Ventilation to the new toilets is controlled on PIR.

The development achieved ‘A’ rating on the ‘new-build’ EPC.

Project of the Year Award Winner – Ysgol twm o’r Nant

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