Artist's impression

A Welsh secondary school, parts of which date back to 1898, is set to be boosted with the construction of a highly modern net zero extension, as part of a wider programme of refurbishments.

Being built by Wynne Construction, the new accommodation at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi in Cardigan, Ceredigion will house eight classrooms and three IT suites, with low energy lighting, and heating provided by air source heat pumps. Power will then be provided by rooftop photovoltaic panels.

As well as the extension, which will be built utilising off-site manufactured timber-based structurally insulated panels (SIPs), the extensive package of works also includes new windows, improved science provision, a new drama studio, remodeled administration facilities and work to increase the area of the school’s canteen.

The Bodelwyddan-based company’s delivery of the project will contribute to Ceredigion County Council’s target to become carbon neutral. Wales as a whole is aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The use of highly-insulating SIPs, which themselves lock in carbon due to their timber composition, combined with the photovoltaic panels and the other measures to reduce energy consumption, mean that, on balance, the extension will result in no additional CO2 emissions.

Andy Garner, design manager at Wynne Construction, said: “By using our expertise in choosing the right materials, methods and design we can help minimise the impact on the wider environment, as well as provide a modern learning environment for the children of Cardigan.

“This ties in with our commitment to leave a lasting legacy with each project, particularly schools: by creating jobs and training opportunities, working with the local supply chain partners and engaging with the local community and key stakeholders.”

Councillor Rhodri Evans, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said: “We are very pleased that the Cardigan Secondary School extension will be modern and net zero.

“This ties in with the Council’s commitment to reduce emissions and achieve net zero carbon by 2030.”

Headteacher, Mrs Nicola James, said: “This project is an important part of the history and development of our school, and we are excited to be able to see our beautiful buildings being extended and enhanced for the benefit of pupils and all who work here.

“The new and improved classroom spaces will provide more opportunities for learning and will allow teachers and staff to focus on maximising educational outcomes.

“We are pleased that Wynne will deliver an energy efficient building which will help us to play our part in bringing emissions down and reducing our impact on the environment.”

Wynne is due on site during the summer holidays, with a ground-breaking ceremony for the extension to be held in the autumn. The project is scheduled to be completed by January 2023.

Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi is a traditional bilingual mixed comprehensive with around 575 students across years 7 to 11, plus a sixth form of about 100.

The contract is the first project won by Wynne Construction under the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework (SWWRCF).

Wynne Construction operates throughout Wales and the North West of England, and regularly leads on projects in sectors including education, healthcare, and sport and leisure.

In addition, the company is also on the North Wales Construction Partnership (NWCP) and the South-East and mid-Wales Collaborative Construction Framework (SEWSCAP3).

In November 2018, it was named SME (up to 250 employees) of the year at the UK-wide Constructing Excellence awards.