Pupils at the Canolfan Addysg y Bont helped celebrate Anglesey's first 'Excellent' rating for a building's environmental performance.
The Llangefni special educational needs school has just been awarded the highest possible rating in the BREEAM sustainable building ratings. The children are benefiting from BREEAM design features including a sensory garden.
The £8.5m school, which opened in April 2014, was designed by Anglesey Council and built by Wynne Construction. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation. It measures aspects related to energy and water use, the health and well-being of users, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.
Other BREEAM features built into Canolfan Addysg y Bont include photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, a biomass heating system, solar-powered hot water, low water demand sanitary installations and a green roof planted with sedum, which supports biodiversity particularly well.
The BREEAM standard applies to any Welsh Government building over 1,000 sq m. Canolfan Addysg y Bont was awarded 71.4%, giving it the 'Excellent' ranking.
Wynne Construction managing director, Chris Wynne, explained that carbon dioxide emissions and water use monitoring were among measures taken by his construction team during the two years on site.
"We measured the fuel use in our machines, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by all vehicles, including skips and wagons, that made deliveries to site. We also ensured that at least 90 per cent of site waste was recycled. It's a pleasure to see that the children are also benefiting from the fantastic learning environment BREEAM has brought about."
Head teacher Andreas Huws said: "The environmentally-friendly design and great use of natural light means the whole school community has a school to be proud of. Pupils make great use of the specially designed spaces, both inside and out, giving the whole school a therapeutic feel which is exactly what benefits our pupils and aids in the delivery of a specialist curriculum."
Anglesey's Architectural Services Manager, Gareth W. Thomas, said "Achieving the BREEAM Excellent rating for this project is the result of many months of hard work by all members of the Design Team and is testament to the collaborative working ethos which exists between Anglesey County Council and Wynne Construction."
The BREEAM 'Excellent' rating is the third to be achieved by a building constructed by Wynne Construction in North Wales.