Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Tuesday 7th September 2010

Hanson Formpave supplies EcoGranite to the first secondary school in Wales to achieve an “Excellent” BREEAM rating

Hanson Formpave, a leading manufacturer of specialist concrete paving products has recently supplied in excess of 4500m2 of EcoGranite, an environmentally aware alterative to freshly quarried granite, for the development of pedestrianised zones at Newport High School in South Wales.

Formerly Bettws High School, the school has been redeveloped as part of the Constructing Excellence in Wales demonstration programme. With reports proving that the existing building – built in 1972 – was having detrimental effects on the schools’ ability to deliver an acceptable standard of education, it was time to take action. A new, well-designed build was specified with quality, sustainability and the environment all acting as key factors from the offset.

After a thorough procurement process, with added emphasis on quality rating, Hanson Formpave supplied a combination of colours and sizes, with cobbles, setts and longsetts laid in a variety of shades, all taken from its EcoGranite range, containing up to 77% recycled material. The silver, charcoal and brindle tones of the Cornish, Balmoral and Truro colours have been created to replicate the appearance of natural granite and were chosen to complement the striking, classical façade of the new building.

As with the construction of any school using safe, environmentally assured products is paramount, particularly in the surfacing of external landscapes and pedestrian zones. EcoGranite offers a juxtaposition of a seemingly smooth, sparkling finish with the added benefit of a non slip-skid surface. With its regular surface and consistent joint widths it is perfect for ensuring a slip resistant, pedestrian friendly paving.

Working toward a BREEAM rating, under the ever-watchful eye of a BREEAM assessor, it was vital that the suppliers and contractors specified shared similar values and aims, all whilst delivering an exceptional product and/or service. HLM Architects and main contractors, Leadbitter, headed up a cooperative, hard working team, working closely with the client, Newport City Council.

Howard Gadd, regional business development manager for Leadbitter said, “It was essential to the project’s success that we worked as a team from the off. Being a Constructing Excellence demo project gave us the opportunity to work with some of the best businesses and people in the industry, with a wide diversity of talent, skill, product and vision but most importantly, with one goal - to deliver an outstanding build.”

Ultimately the success of the project will truly become apparent through the intake of pupils, improvements in grades, satisfaction from the community and the happiness of the staff and pupils but for Hanson Formpave, the contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, project managers and Constructing Excellence in Wales the recognition from BREEAM has been the icing on the cake.

Newport High School is the first secondary school in Wales to achieve the ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. Richard O’Neill, director at HLM Architects said: “This is an outstanding achievement for the client and entire project team. Through collaboration and partnership with the school from the outset we have set a new standard in Wales which we hope will set the benchmark for future secondary school development.”

Since the school opened its doors in November 2009 it has seen a rise in pupil applications by 50%.

After winning Project of the Year at the recent Constructing Excellence In Wales awards Newport High School will now go forward as the Welsh entry to the Constructing Excellence National Awards, held in London on 18th November. The national awards will bring together the winners from the nine regional awards held across the UK.

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