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Penyrheol Comprehensive School

Penyrheol Comprehensive School

A major part of Penyrheol Comprehensive School was destroyed by fire in March 2006. It was rebuilt at a cost of just over £9m and reopened in September 2009.

Starting with a blank sheet of paper and limited insurance budget, from the outset the Council worked collaboratively with key stakeholders, the Client technical team and Contractor to establish a concept that would deliver both value for money and an improved learning environment. Staff, governors and pupils alike were involved in the design process, and many of their ideas were incorporated. The result is a 21st Century learning centre that is sustainable, light, airy and a wonderful place to work and learn.

Features at the new Penyrheol Comprehensive School include a spectacular Penyrheol School, Swansea10m-high glass frontage to the three-storey entrance foyer, a 40m glass atrium above the technology wing and a high-spec library.

There is also a self-contained music department, a flexible-use dining room, a specialist teaching facility and an art department with panoramic views from the second floor windows.

Corridors vary in width to take into account the expected number of people using them at peak times. Safety features include fire-resistant panels in walls, a sprinkler system throughout and CCTV on all three floors.

Outside there is an elegant paved forecourt with lawns and curved wooden seating. An external teaching area features curved brick-built seating.

The design and build of the new school ensures that environmental issues play a key role in the lives of pupils and staff at Penyrheol.

The rebuild  benefits from the inclusion of a number of "sustainable" measures, notably solar panels, photo voltaic cells and rainwater harvesting.

The building design makes the most of natural light, and favours natural ventilation. The internal environment is controlled by a Building Management System. The walls contain thermal insulation that exceeds building regulations standards. Solar shading is provided externally by a Brise Soleil and internally by blinds to minimise solar gain.Penyrheol School, Swansea

The heating and electrical systems are specially designed to cut down both the use of energy and emissions. The heating circuits are zoned, which allows parts of the building to be heated independently as required.

All taps in the school have an economy flow control. All rooms have presence detector automatic controls to ensure lighting is only on when there are occupants. Areas have also been provided for the school to segregate its waste for recycling and disposal.

The project achieved BREEAM Very Good and also Secured by Design status.

For further information or to enquire about a visit to the school, e-mail Geraint Flowers: