Pen-Y-Dre High School, Merthyr Tydfil
Posted by Ashlea Williamson
Pen-Y-Dre High School Becomes First Carbon Neutral Refurbishment School in Wales.
Renowned for its high standards of discipline, behaviour and achievements, Pen-Y- Dre High School is
Merthyr Tydfil’s award-winning education centre. The school caters for the educational and development
needs of 800 pupils aged 11-16.
Set in a beautiful green campus, Pen-Y-Dre is famous for its outstanding academic and sporting facilities.
The schools extensive site can accommodate a variety of activities including a full size swimming pool.
Pen-Y-Dre High School is more than an educational building, it is at the heart of the local community, and
is used by many groups outside the traditional school day.
When Pen-Y-Dre High School were looking to refurbish their buildings, they approached Jim Allen award
winning Architectural Service Manager at Blaenau Gwent council, looking for a long-term solution to
update their site.
Client Brief and Design
Building lasting relationships is important to Alumasc, and this project is testament to that. After
collaborating on several successful projects, Jim approached the Alumasc team to survey the roof area
of the site, with a view to providing a durable and green proposition.
After an initial survey of the roof, our team agreed that to meet the clients brief, Alumasc’s Derbigum
Olivine system was the best option. Not only would it meet the need for longevity and durability with its
35 year warranty, the system would substantially reduce CO2, assisting in making Pen-Y-Dre the first net
carbon High School in Wales.
The First of its Kind
Calculations carried out by the team demonstrated there were several benefits to the Derbigum Olivine
system compared to a traditional felt roof. This environmentally friendly roofing system neutralises CO2
via an irreversible chemical reaction when it comes into contact with rainwater. Its proven performance
means that 1m2 of olivine has the capacity to capture approximately 1.75kg of CO2.
The teams’ calculations highlighted the U value of the current roof was very poor. Installing the Derbigum
Olivine system would improve the performance to 0.1, increasing the efficiency of the construction,
keeping heat flow through the structure to a minimum, therefore reducing the school’s energy costs.
With these calculations alongside a 35 year warranty, the proposal was instrumental to secure funding
for the new refurbishments to Pen-Y-Dre High School, helping the school deliver their vision to become
Alumasc’s innovative roofing system comprise a premium CO2 neutralising reinforced APP polymer
modified bituminous waterproofing membrane, underlays, insulation boards, with air and vapour control
Surfaced with a naturally occurring mineral upper layer, this layer initiates a chemical reaction with CO2
from rainwater, irreversibly neutralising the pollutant on contact.
The Olivine granules cause a chemical reaction in CO2 in rainwater which converts it to silicon dioxide
(sand) and magnesium carbonate, two products harmless to the environment.
Complete with BBA certification, Derbigum Olivine is a fully warranted system with a life expectancy of up
to 50 years. Although the olivine grains decrease in size with each reaction, the grains are large enough
to span an impressive 30 years before having completely reacted. Not only is the system durable, it is
sustainable, as the membranes used are 100% recyclable.
Long Term Relationships
We pride ourselves on building strong relationships within the industry. Our clients trust us to deliver on
our promises. Having worked with Jim Allen and Morgan Sindall on previous successful projects meant
they knew they were in a safe pair of hands. Construction of the site is being completed whilst the school
is still in operation. Together with the contractors the Alumasc team are supporting the build to ensure
minimum disruption to the school’s activities.
As part of the Alumasc Roofing service we offer transparent quality checking and timely site reporting.
We are always on-site to assist clients before, during and after the installation.
All projects come with their challenges but a roofing supplier’s ability and willingness to tackle them in
collaboration with the client and contractor is of key importance to Alumasc Roofing.
Project: To deliver a 7,000m2 sustainable roofing system
Products: Derbigum Olivine
Performance: CO2 neutralising capabilities, improved U value with a 35-year warranty