ACO has provided a series of functional and subtle drainage solutions for the £20m state-of-the-art Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School in Bridgend, Wales. The three-storey site includes a community leisure block incorporating both a sports and a dance hall, and outdoor playing pitches that will be open for use by the wider community.
Among the solutions provided by ACO were shower channels, floor gullies for the toilets and drainage channels for external paving. The secondary school, which has 750 students aged 11-18, was originally located in Tondu to the north of Bridgend. However, that building could no longer meet the needs of a pupil population that had doubled in the past 20 years, and therefore, the decision was taken to relocate to a more accessible area of Brackla, near the centre of the town.
Working with architects HLM, Leadbitter fulfilled the challenging design, constructing a state-of-the-art, 21st century learning centre on behalf of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, the Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council. Civil engineering services were undertaken by Cuddy Group, who prepared the site priorto Leadbitter Construction commencing the building work.
Seven changing areas were required for the leisure and sports facilities and here ACO shower gullies proved to be an ideal solution, providing compact and attractive capacity drainage in corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
When it came to the toilets, ACO were called in to solve a specific problem and were again able to provide a solution that balanced cosmetic appearance with the right drainage capacity. The open plan design of the toilets required a channel in between the boys and girls units but the concrete slab into which the Drainage channel needed to fit had already been cast.
Tim Growdon, ACO Building Drainages Regional Specification Manager, visited the school and the Modular 125 Channel system was specified, providing an easy, functional solution to the problem.
For the exterior of the building, ACO provided a discreet series of hidden drainage channels for the external paving, supporting the need to maintain clean, functional design throughout the building.
These products were specified from ACO Water Management MultiDrain MD polymer concrete channel system. Alex Smith, Project Manager for Cuddy, praised ACOs involvement in the Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School project: ACO supported the project all the way down the line, offering full project design services, on site measurements, and help specifying products to make sure that every component was suitable for the task. They were closely involved in the planning of all the crucial stages, such as the casting of the concrete levels to allow for drainage, and their consistent support, advice, and attention to detail were of great benefit to the project as a whole.
The new Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School was officially opened on Friday, 2nd December 2011, by the Right Honourable Carwyn Jones, AM, First Minister and the Most Reverend Archbishop George Stack. The school has proved to be a triumph of intelligent design, having been awarded both a Secured by Design accreditation by South Wales Police and a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent rating, recognising state-of-the-art, energy-saving and low carbon technologies throughout, including natural ventilation, passive temperature control and the use of sustainable sourced materials.