Kawneer systems help deliver a super-school

Wales’ largest learning facility features Kawneer glazing systems.

Architectural glazing systems from Kawneer were specified for the largest learning facility in Wales.

Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling combined with patterned glass was specified by HLM architects for Penarth Learning Community, a £48million super-school in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.

A wide variety of Kawneer window and door systems were used on the project, including the AA®541 top and side-hung casement windows and AA®3110HW horizontal sliding anti-ligature windows installed in the respite area which is a specially-designed system for people with learning difficulties.

The Kawneer door systems are series 190 and 350 (respectively heavy-duty and severe-duty) commercial entrance doors which were installed over 14 months by approved specialist sub-contractor AB Glass (Doors & Windows), based in Swansea.

The unique scheme, which was five years in the making, has seen more than 200 special needs pupils taught in the same facility as 1,280 mainstream secondary school pupils to deliver inclusive education and a wide range of learning opportunities under one roof.

The 23,500m2 scheme includes a 1,500m2 residential home which allows 19 special needs pupils, including those with learning and physical difficulties and those on the autism spectrum, to stay over at any one time and provide respite for their families.

HLM provided architectural, landscape and interior design services with the aim of achieving BREEAM “Excellent” and EPC A ratings which was just one reason why they wanted an aluminium glazing system.

Project architect Gareth Woodfin said Kawneer was specified for its “wide range of services and products, sustainability credentials and safety measures.” Aluminium’s sustainability had been an important factor and contributed to the BREEAM rating.

He added: “The fenestration plays an important role in any building, not only for providing daylight and views out but for assisting in the overall aesthetical quality of the design. The Kawneer systems complied with the required U-values and provided a good aesthetic to the overall design.”

Built by Bouygues UK on the site of the playing fields for the mainstream St Cyres comprehensive, the project saw the creation of two new schools in a single building. As well as providing new facilities for St Cyres, it created a new SEN school, Ysgol y Deri. This accommodates pupils from three SEN schools in the area – Ysgol Erw’r Delyn, Ysgol Maes Dyfan and Ashgrove School.

The existing St Cyres School buildings were demolished to make way for new sporting facilities including two gyms, an all-weather artificial pitch, hydrotherapy pool and physiotherapy suites which are available for the public to use. Outside teaching spaces, including a wildlife garden and allotments, were also incorporated.