Milestone for first ever Passivhaus school in Powys

Building contractor Pave Aways has handed over the keys of the first ever Passivhaus school to be built for Powys County Council.

Paul Moran, Justine Baldwin and Councillor Phyl Davies
Paul Moran, Justine Baldwin and Councillor Phyl Davies

The construction firm has completed the main works to the Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School that meets the rigorous energy efficiency standards required for Passivhaus certification.

Constructed around a timber frame that was sustainably sourced in Wales, the school has a superior level of insulation and was built to be airtight. It also has a heat recovery and ventilation system and solar panels on the roof to minimise running costs.

The school, which will open for 360 pupils in January, has been built as part of the council’s Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys. It is being funded by the Welsh Government 21st Century Schools Programme with 50 per cent of the cost coming from Powys County Council. The project is being delivered in partnership with Heart of Wales Property Services.

Pave Aways took over the build following the collapse of the original contractor Dawnus. The firm, which has its Welsh headquarters in Wrexham, is currently working on two other Passivhaus schemes for the council – 28 apartments in Newtown and six homes in Sarn that will provide affordable housing.

Steven Owen, managing director of Pave Aways, said: “This scheme will provide a contemporary and energy efficient school that will serve the children of Welshpool well for years to come.

“It has given a huge boost to the local economy, supporting a large number of jobs on site and through our supply chain, as well as upskilling many trades who had never worked on a Passivhaus scheme before.

“Producing a building of this size that reaches these high standards is a big achievement and one that everyone who has worked on the school should be proud of.”

Councillor Phyl Davies, cabinet member for education and property, said: “I’m delighted that we have received the keys for the new Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School.

“This new school is an important part of our strategy to transform education in Powys and will provide a learning environment that will allow learners and teaching staff to thrive and reach their potential.”

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