Torfaen Healthy Learning Station, Wales

King Shaw Associates provided the full engineering design for this sustainable, timber framed adult education centre in South Wales. The £2.5M project features winter gardens designed to provide the building with passive solar heating and natural ventilation. Rainwater is harvested for irrigation and toilet flushing.

The superstructure is formed from Cruciform timber columns spanning from ground to roof supporting the intermediate first floor and roof. To provide exposed thermal mass the first floor is constructed from composite precast concrete panels seated onto timber beams on a 6.0m grillage. The roof-scape itself is made of primary, secondary and tertiary timber elements set at various intersecting levels as an inter-layered system
of elements.

Energy reduction is supported by a slinky installed under the adjoining car park with solar panels set on the roof. The height of the building drives the stack effect and during the summer months air is to be drawn in through a central labyrinth. Various vertical courtyards in the building allow in natural light and facilitate natural ventilation throughout.

Client: Torfaen County Borough Council
Value: £2,500,000
Architect: Sarah Wigglesworth Architects/ Powell Dobson Architects