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Biomass heats eco award winner

The first ever further education building in the UK to achieve an excellent rating from Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.(BREEAM) has been named one of the most outstanding projects in Wales.

Pembrokeshire College’s new £2.9 million Construction and Technology block received the BREEAM Bespoke Award for Wales on Friday (March 7).

Steve Jones, director of Estates and Facilities at the college, said: “Obtaining the BREEAM excellent rating demonstrates Pembrokeshire College’s commitment to sustainability both in the design and the operation of the building.”

As the building fell outside standard BREEAM version a Bespoke parameters had to be designed for the project.

Features included natural ventilation with some mechanical assistance and thermal zoning controlled by a Building Management System (BMS). A biomass heating system will provide 29 per cent of the building’s energy with 3 per cent from a small solar thermal system.

Building services were designed by White Young Green, structural engineering by FaberMaunsell and the contractor was Dawnus Construction.

The BREEAM Ecohomes award for Wales was won by a 178 home development in Ruthin designed by George Wimpey North West – part of Taylor Wimpey.

Ian McCann, associate technical director at George Wimpey North West, said: “Taylor Wimpey uses the BREEAM EcoHomes scheme to assess the performance of our houses as well as influencing the ongoing review of our designs and specifications.

“This research enables us to understand in detail the cost, design and other implications of seeking specific ratings at any given site.”

Although renewable technology was not integrated into the buildings and heating will be provided by class five energy efficient gas boilers.

However, the design team was keen to improve thermal performance through insulation, air tightness and the use of well insulated fabric which is expected to provide a 35 per cent improvement on 2002 Part L requirements.

An office development built by the Welsh Development Agency won the BREEAM Offices award. M&E engineer on the project at Great Oak Business Park in Llanidloes was White Young Green who worked alongside architect B3 Burgess.

Brian Evans, senior construction officer at the Welsh Development Agency, said: “The use of BREEAM standards in our projects focuses the minds of both the client and design team members in providing facilities that meet the demands of current strategies and policies.”

Features included natural ventilation, heating provided by gas condensing boilers, under floor heating and tenancy sub-metering.

All award winners had to have achieved a BREEAM excellent rating and had scored the highest rating within their particular sector.