Cae’r Nant Primary School 

Flintshire County Council

Joint Commendation Award Winner 2013

Name of client Flintshire County Council
Contract value £6.3M
Project Manager Ian Edwards, Flintshire County Council
Architect Ken Jones, Flintshire County Council
Quantity Surveyor John Owen, Flintshire County Council
Mechanical Engineer John Haime, Flintshire County Council
Electrical Engineer Andy Topliss, Flintshire County Council
Structural Engineer Bingham Rawlings (Gary Higginbottom)
Clerk of Works Clive Howarth, Flintshire County Council
Main Contractor Read Construction, Brymbo, Wrexham

Project Description

Cae’r Nant Primary School in Connah’s Quay is the result of the amalgamation of two aged primary schools, Dee Road Infants and Custom House Lane Juniors both sited in Connah’s Quay.

Cae’r Nant is a prime example of Flintshire’s Education Vision ‘To secure high quality lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and replaces the existing ageing infant and junior schools to provide modern facilities for delivering the curriculum in the 21st century. Jointly funded by Welsh government and FCC the school was collaboratively designed and procured to accord with the Flintshire School Modernisation Strategy, published in 2009, which places special emphasis on community focused schools provision. Community focused schools expand the range of activities that take place in a school as they seek to provide a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of pupils, their families and the wider community.

This principle underpins the provision at Caer Nant and the new school is committed working with local partners, helping to develop the community it serves, and  providing an essential facility for

  • Lifelong learning
  • Childcare
  • Health and Social Services
  • Cultural and Sporting Activities


The end product is a high quality environment that will inspire its users to learn. Procured through a partnered arrangement, Read Construction Holdings Ltd joined the FCC internal design team at stage A-C to ensure the most cost efficient building that delivers to the client and end users requirements. Construction commenced in January 2011 and was complete for the school to occupy and prepare for the new school term in September 2012, a contract period of 78 weeks.

Sustainability Aspects

The initial design stage BREEAM pre-assessment on the project achieved a ‘very good’ rated.  Following subsequent design decisions this has been upgraded to an ‘Excellent’ together with an ‘EPC A’ rating of 23 for energy consumption.

The proposals for the Building Fabric have been developed using an application of thermal modelling software which informed the choices on insulation values for the elements, source of heating energy, summer and winter ventilation requirements, natural and artificial lighting and provide a carbon emission rating 53% below the regulatory target

  • Air permeability required at 4.0m3/m2 and delivered to 3.67 m3/hm2 @ 50Pa
  • Excellent daylight penetration achieved a daylight factor of 6% throughout 80% of the building and resulted in a BREEAM Exemplar for lighting – Internal lighting was designed to low power densities with occupancy detection and daylight/user dimming systems were used to reduce running and future maintenance costs
  • The building was orientated to optimise solar gains and the heating was delivered through a Gas fired CHP (combined heat and power) lead appliance providing energy to heating and hot water systems, coupled to an extremely efficient Gas condensing boiler arrangement, assisted by a south facing Photovoltaic array located on the Assembly Hall roof delivering 11.6kWp. (Kilowatt Peak).
  • Purpose designed natural ventilation throughout the school including roof mounted windcatchers to the Assembly Hall and Studio roofs providing natural ventilation to all occupied areas and providing night cooling to minimise running costs.
  • Prefabricated off site with a timber frame and SIP wall and roof system the design minimised site waste whilst providing enhanced quality due to the benefits of assembly in a workshop environment