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Yorkon completes new science building for one of britain’s oldest schools

Award-winning off-site construction specialist and Portakabin subsidiary, Yorkon, has completed a striking new school building for one of Britain’s oldest schools –Christ College in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The off-site approach ensured completion of the scheme in just five months on a constrained school site, minimised any disruption to staff and pupils, and is a more sustainable method of construction.

Designed by P+HS Architects, the two-storey building expands the science facilities at this co-educational independent boarding and day school, bringing all the laboratories together under one roof and replacing an outdated 1950s block.

Christ College was founded by Royal Charter in 1541 by King Henry VIII and has buildings on its campus, including the chapel and dining hall, which date back to the 13th Century. Because of this and the building’s sensitive location in a national park, the design incorporated local materials such as Welsh sandstone from Llangorse Quarry, together with render and timber cladding to complement the surrounding architecture.

16 steel-framed building modules were manufactured off site in York and craned into position during school holidays to further minimise any disruption.

Commenting on the new building, Phil Bentley, Project Architect at P+HS Architects, said, “The building is innovative given its off-site construction and through careful choice of local materials, it is rich and warm in appearance. There is an exceptional quality of light and space inside with the generous double height atrium which has given the school an additional gallery space to enjoy.”

“It has created a very pleasant educational facility with the quality of the internal environment. This is a great building that has more than exceeded our expectations.”

Emma Taylor, Head Teacher at Christ College, said, “Yorkon have been wonderfully innovative partners in the design and construction process. The sustainability of the building was important, not only environmentally but educationally, as pupils can now see features such solar heating at first hand.”

“It was critical for us to have the new building up and running as soon as possible because it is built on the site of our original physics labs. The off-site approach allowed us to achieve this, and it has worked very well without any interruption to teaching. The project has certainly raised the bar in terms of quality and efficiency for any future construction work at the school.”

Two physics and two biology laboratories, a sixth form project room, and laboratory technician’s rooms are grouped around a double height central atrium that functions as an additional teaching area and exhibition space. This central ‘street’ also allows pupils to move through the space at peak times and gather informally before and after lessons.

The scheme features a number of sustainable measures, such as solar water heating to reduce energy consumption, energy-efficient lighting, natural ventilation and daylight and high levels of insulation to conserve energy.

The building has also been designed to be flexible and adaptable to change. The internal walls are non load-bearing and there are clear internal spans of up to 12m, so the teaching spaces and laboratories can easily be reconfigured to meet the school’s changing requirements over time.


Editor’s Notes

1.Yorkon has an extensive track record in the education sector, having completed a wide variety of projects ranging from self-contained teaching buildings and classroom extensions for both primary and secondary schools, to a purpose-designed adult education centre, and the UK’s first complete school to be built off site.

2.The Yorkon steel-framed modular building system is a highly sustainable alternative to traditional site-based construction. It offers:

•Improved thermal efficiency. Yorkon steel-framed modular buildings are more thermally efficient than traditional site-based construction and consistently perform up to 70 per cent better than Building Regulations requirements (Part L2A) in full-scale independent tests for air permeability.
•Reduced energy consumption. Up to 67 per cent less energy is required to produce a modular building compared to an equivalent traditionally-built project (source: Arup)
•Reducing congestion and carbon emissions. The Yorkon off-site approach generates up to 90 per cent fewer vehicle movements to site (source: Mtech)
•Environmental policy. Yorkon is one of the first modular manufacturers to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation – the internationally recognised standard for reducing impact on the environment.
•New greener design options. Yorkon has introduced a series of new design options for ‘greener’ modular buildings, to encourage the use of renewable sources of energy, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and promote recyclability.
•Waste reduction. Off-site construction reduces on-site waste by up to 90 per cent (source: WRAP). Over the past three years, Yorkon has achieved a 50 per cent reduction in the volume of waste sent to landfill over the last three years.
•Recycling. Yorkon now recycles 78 per cent of all waste and targets are in place to further improve recycling and waste management.

3.If you wish to publish a telephone number for further information, the number for Yorkon is 01904 610990. Please do not print the agency’s number.

For further PRESS information, please contact:

Joanne Bridges, PRO – Yorkon
Bridges Communications
Tel: 01489 570898
Fax: 01489 570888

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