Five ceiling products from Zentia feature at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg school.

A plethora of products from UK ceilings manufacturer Zentia met a multitude of challenges at a redeveloped Welsh school.

Five square-edged mineral products from Zentia were used on the £20 million regeneration of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg school in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, that included additional BB93 accommodation for 300 pupils.

The modernisation and upgrade of facilities at the school saw the construction of five new extensions, including a design and technology teaching block, a new sports hall, and a reception area and dining hall.

Zentia’s Perla tiles, which feature light reflectance of 86%, were used in the corridors and circulation spaces while sister Perla dB tiles, which perform to sound absorption Class C, featured in the classrooms.

Anti-bacterial Bioguard Acoustic tiles, which also perform to sound absorption Class C, were used in the food technology classrooms, and Bioguard tiles, which are clean room classified to ISO 5, in the kitchens. Finally, Hydroboard tiles, which are 100% humidity resistant and perform to sound absorption Class A, were used with a Prelude non-corrosive suspension grid in the changing rooms and toilets.

They were selected by Austin Smith Lord architects, who have specified Zentia many times before for school projects, as they met the aesthetic and acoustic requirements of this particular 11,000m2 steel-framed scheme.

Architect Matthew Wray said: “Our valued client, Vale of Glamorgan County Council, was extremely happy with the project overall and it’s something we’re really proud of’.”

Specialist subcontractor Richard Kemble Contracts, who are a member of Zentia’s Pinnacle partnership scheme, had a team of up to 10 working on site, installing a total of 7,168m2 of Zentia products, for 28 months.

Richard Kemble said: “This project was challenging as we were just starting when the pandemic hit which caused materials and labour shortages. It was also part phased refurbishment and that meant working around the school children and teachers during term time.”

He added: “Zentia provided technical backup as some classrooms needed to have additional acoustic rating so further calculations were carried out and the Perla dB tile was specified and used in the majority of classrooms to maintain the optimum levels of acoustic performance.”

Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg brings to life the school’s vision to create an exemplar environment on a single campus, where pupils start in primary school and finish sixth form all within one site. IT and the remodelled sixth-form area are now at the heart of the school, promoting Welsh language learning post-16.

Main contractor ISG won the contract on the influential SEWSCAP capital works framework as part of the Welsh government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme, designed to transform and upgrade the country’s education estate.

Externally, ISG delivered six new multi-use games areas and a floodlit 3G all-weather rugby sports pitch, which is available for community use out of school hours.

Zoe Price, group director for public sector frameworks at ISG, explained: “Important capital frameworks like SEWSCAP provide the space and early involvement that enables contractors to problem solve creatively and develop innovative solutions that prove transformative to programmes, budgets and social value outcomes for our local communities.”

Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg won a ‘Highly Commended’ across the Value and Sustainability categories in the 2021 Constructing Excellence Wales awards. It was also a finalist in the Digital Construction and Innovation awards. The Vale of Glamorgan were also a finalist in the ‘Client of the Year’ award category and the council’s 21st Century Schools programme was also a finalist in the Integration and Collaborative Working and Value’ categories.

The distributor was SIG Cardiff.