Ysgol Y Graig – New Primary School 

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Sustainability Award Winner 2009

Client Education Department, Anglesey County Council
Contract Value £3.9M
Date of Practical Completion November 2008
Project Manager / Architectural Designers Gareth Thomas / Marcus Groves – Anglesey County Council
Quantity Surveyors Maelgwyn Williams – Chandler KBS
Mechanical Services Designer Ray Tooth – RJT Consulting
Electrical Services Designer Alwyn Evans – Anglesey County Council
Structural Engineer Allan Smith – Capita Symonds
Clerk of Works Mike Hyde – Site Management Services
Planning Supervisor Gavin Williams – SP Projects
Contractor Wynne Construction

Project Details

The existing primary school has been relocated from a busy Industrial Estate to a greenfield site on the outskirts of Llangefni, Anglesey. 

The school is within walking or cycling distance for the majority of the children, therefore dramatically reducing the number of car journeys at school start and finishing times.  A direct footpath link to the nearby housing estate enables a safe route to school for the children.

A decision was taken by the Designer at a very early stage that the school would be a ‘green’ school.  The school is a landmark development for Anglesey in both design and construction.  Due to it’s location on a greenfield site, it was critical that the design should be sympathetic to it’s natural surroundings. The use of natural materials was therefore a priority in both the construction process and the completed external finishes for the building. The innovative design benefits from a traditional timber frame structure with a variety of external finishes, including cedar cladding and stone gabions.  The gabions were filled with locally sourced stonework.

The main sustainable features of the new school are as follows :

  • Green Roof. A large percentage of the roof area has been finished with an extensive ‘green’ sedum roof system. The roof creates a natural habitat for plant and insects and other local ecology and also aids biodiversity. A sedum roof also contributes to storm water management by retaining rainwater.
  • Timber FrameTimber framing was selected for it’s sustainable properties and for being a carbon neutral material. Timber is also a natural resource and is totally recyclable. The timber framed panels for this scheme were manufactured in Presteigne, Mid Wales and delivered to site for erection, therefore reducing site waste. The whole of the timber frame for the new school was erected in just twelve weeks.
  • Solar Panels. The roof on the south facing elevation, benefits from a large area of  solar photovoltaic panels. There are a total of 228 Kyocera KC130 PV modules, capable of generating 29,600W peak output. The system is expected to generate approximately 22,000 kWh (units) per year. This will result in a carbon saving of approximately 13.5 Tonnes CO2 reduction. It is estimated that the combination of the PV panels and the wind turbine will generate almost 50% of the school’s annual electricity requirements. All surplus electricity generated when the school is not in use, particularly during the summer holidays, is to be sold back to the National Grid.  The energy being produced is monitored on line and up to the end of May, a total of over 8100kWh has been produced, resulting in a CO2 saving in excess of 4.3 tonnes and an actual energy cost saving of £1,138.
  • Wind TurbineThere is one wind turbine installed on the site – a quietrevolution qr5 vertical axis turbine. This is the first turbine of this type to be installed and commissioned in Wales. The qr5 turbine on this site has an anticipated energy output of up to 8,100 KWhrs per annum. CO2 savings of 3.5 tonnes per year are forecasted.
  • Natural VentilationThe school has been designed to be naturally ventilated wherever possible. In all classrooms and in the hall a stack effect ventilation approach has been adopted.


This is also the first project within the authority to be submitted for a  BREEAM rating.  We are currently completing the process and the gathering of evidence and are looking towards a ‘Very Good/Good’ rating.

Jane Davidson A.M, the Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing,  presenting the CLAW Sustainabilty Award 2009 to Mike Barton of Anglesey CC watched by Councillor Keith Evans, the CLAW Vice-Chairman and Keith Morgan , the Chairman of the Board of Nominated Officers.