Brettstapel Beauty – Burry Port Community School

Size1993m2
Year Constructed2015
ArchitectArchitype
Design Features
  • Set over three principal buildings, the project is a mix of refurbishment and new-build. The prominent new-build aspects include the first Passivhaus school building in Wales.
  • Supported by the innovative use of locally sourced Welsh timber, the extended school is a visual showcase for sustainable materiality in Wales.
  • The focal point of the new school is the central pod building, connecting the new and old elements of the school, with a striking elliptical building and curved covered walkway providing a multi-functional and open plan space.
  • The refurbishment work has modernised the existing building and created large, secure, open plan classrooms incorporating multi-use space, break-out space and access to a contained and covered outdoor area.
  • It is an extremely sensitive, very carefully considered building that focusses on health and wellbeing and sets the bar higher for the schools of the future.

 

Timber Frame Features
  • Finished in locally sourced Welsh grown Japanese Larch, the building is constructed using the Brettstapel method, which involves using short softwood lengths held together with hardwood dowels that swell and tighten with exchanging moisture content
  • The result is a solid timber panel, providing dual purpose as a load bearing wall or floor, and internal finish. The process reduces the need for intensive manufacturing methods, and eliminates the use of toxic glues or bonds
  • The walls consist of 147mm Timber Brettstapel with 300mm of Cellulose insulation within an external timber framework fixed to the outside of the Brettstapel structure, with an external Bitroc board.
  • The key challenges on this project included; creating curved walls using 600mm long faceted panels out of solid Brettstapel panels, and structurally tying in the 2 flying walls at both entrances without compromising the thermal envelope.
  • Air tightness test: (n50) 0.56 air changes per hour @ 50Pa