Ysgol Gymraeg – Welshpool

Passivhaus School Extension

Project: Ysgol Gymraeg, Welshpool

Company: Lowfield Timber Frames

Sector: Education

Technology: Timber frame

Lowfield Timber Frames supplied and erected a timber frame for an extension to Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng. Working with Wynne Construction on behalf of Powys County Council, the £7m development in Welshpool of the new 150-student school constructed on site, also incorporates the historic Ysgol Maesydre building. This has merged the primary school’s rich heritage with modern design principles.

The Grade II-listed building has been refurbished as part of the construction to accommodate early years and community facilities, with existing features of the building retained and protected. The extension was built to achieve Passive House (Passivhaus) accreditation and ensure a Passivhaus School, that is a sustainable and low energy usage building. Additional structural repairs included window refurbishment and roof coverings.

We are increasingly seeing more desire for energy efficient buildings and Passive House / Passivhaus School’s are benefiting from this type of build. Lowfield Timber Frames take pride in building better and building greener.


Lowfield Timber Frames assist in Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry

On the 10th of March Lowfield Timber Frames hosted the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee who were investigating for their inquiry on Sustainable Timber and Deforestation. It was a pleasure to show them around the factory, enabling them to see the manufacturing process and how the timber is used.

The inquiry is to examine the sustainability of timber in the UK and the UK’s contribution to global deforestation. The inquiry will investigate how the UK, which imports most of its timber, can best scale up a sustainable, resilient domestic timber sector and reduce its reliance on imports. In addition, the inquiry will examine the degree to which UK supply chains contribute to deforestation overseas and the effectiveness of the government’s efforts to curb this. Consideration will also be given to how the UK works with international partners to tackle deforestation.

Darren Jarman, Managing Director at Lowfield said “It was a pleasure to the show the EOC around our operation and, as well as showcasing some of the exciting Net Zero projects we are involved with, highlight some of the challenges faced in sector.”

Lowfield Timber Frames provided the delegates with a presentation and a tour of their manufacturing facility to support the inquiry. The presentation demonstrated the current issues facing the timber frame industry which relies on high quality timber but also understands the importance of sustainability. They also suggested recommendations for the inquiry to look at including an emphasis on policies to reduce embodied carbon within the construction industry. The presentation was then later used as written evidence to the inquiry which you can read the full report here.

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Rt Hon Philip Dunne & MP for Ludlow, said:

“It was a pleasure to visit Lowfield Timber Frames recently with colleagues on the Environmental Audit Committee. In Net Zero Britain, we must consider all alternative building materials as our built environment contributes a quarter of all UK greenhouse gas emissions: and timber framed buildings will be part of the solution. It’s encouraging to see thriving local companies – like Lowfield Timber Frames – leading the way in developing and delivering net zero construction.”

You can read more about the inquiry and other submitted evidence here.

Lowfield Timber Frames have recently completed their second Passivhaus school in Welshpool, less than 8 miles from their head office. Lowfields have been pioneers in the Woodknowledge Wales, Home-grown Homes project, their Sarn development of 7 Passivhaus homes for Powys County Council has been shortlisted for the Unlock Net Zero Awards, with the awards evening being held in Manchester on the 27th of June. Lowfields are passionate about creating low carbon, low energy buildings, for the future. Find out more about Lowfield Timber Frames and their projects here.

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