Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen wins Constructing Excellence in Wales Award


Scott Brownrigg's scheme Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen  has won the Constructing Excellence in Wales – Project of the Year Award. The combined 14,450 sq m campus on 5.8 hectares provides a learning environment for 1,570 students aged 11- 18, with extensive dedicated facilities for pupils and the wider community. It is the first BREEAM outstanding secondary school of its type in Wales.

Now in its eighth year, the Constructing Excellence Awards have become one of the leading built environment awards in the UK, recognising excellence in construction. The Project of the Year category is awarded to the project team that has shown the highest level of technical achievement, innovation and application of best practice, while delivering a project, to time and budget and with team working throughout the supply chain.

Of the scheme, the judges stated:  “The £35.5m project to build a new secondary High School for Bridgend County Borough Council bringing two existing schools together into a new facility was difficult to find fault with. From the outset, it was designed to be Exemplar in every aspect ranging from sustainability, local investment and engagement to learning environment and a community hub”.

The result is a school building that is an inspiration for staff, pupils and the community alike and lays down future best practice for truly sustainable buildings. The judges were especially impressed with securing the outstanding BREEAM rating and the commitment to meet the combined heat requirements for the heating of the swimming pool and a local residential home as well as the school itself. The overall scheme was delivered within a strong framework that benefitted from clear client leadership. The collaborative approach helped in the provision of a teaching wing complex wrapped around a central atrium that also has one wing dedicated to community use and multi-agency accommodation.

The headmaster noted that: “The team demonstrated a real and deep understanding of how the school space can be used to support educational innovation and transformation”.

He was also impressed by the exceptional levels of engagement with the whole of the school and wider community and continues:
“All schools have strong links to the communities they serve and so the construction team made great efforts to engage with local people, staff, parents and pupils but the project team’s genuine enthusiasm and excitement for the project was seen as instrumental in making it a total success. Without the level of real engagement, real partnership and real energy displayed, the school would have been finished but not in the same manner and not occupying a world class building that supports all of the many curricular, pedagogical and relationship transformations that were core objectives. But the delivery and great design could not have been delivered without a commitment to collaborative working and a clear sense of shared responsibility”.

The judges were also keen to comment on the strategic thinking that was evident in the submission and the scheme as a whole together with the strong results derived from a rigorous process and robust framework. "The leadership and vision from the client and early appointment of the contractor and designers allowed for sufficient design time and the development of a robust target cost as well as determining the expectations of the community. It is a worthy winner and an exemplar scheme".

The project team comprised Bridgend County Council, Scott Brownrigg, Leadbitter (Bouygues), Jubb, Aecom, Arup and TACP Landscape Planning.