Dwr-Y-Felin Upper Comprehensive School, Wales

Project: Dwr-Y-Felin Upper Comprehensive School, Wales

A variety of systems from Armstrong Ceilings feature on a redeveloped school.


Ceiling systems from Armstrong were specified by a local authority for the redevelopment of a school for a number of reasons, not least their acoustic performance, aesthetics, flexibility and practicality.


Armstrong CeilingsAxiom Knife Edge canopies, with a perimeter trim of the school’s corporate colour of blue, were used in classrooms and corridors, while suspended grids of mineral tiles were used in office, store and toilet areas.


They were specified by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council’s in-house design team for a school project built by BAM Construction at Dwr-Y-Felin Upper Comprehensive, previously a split site school.


The condition of the lower site, attended by years seven and eight, was such that the authority decided to amalgamate the school on the upper site. The £8million construction cost involved the building of a 3,200m² new-build block comprising 10 classrooms, four IT suites, resource centre, drama/assembly hall, staff accommodation and cyber café as well as some refurbishment of the existing site.


The Armstrong ceilings were installed by Omega specialist sub-contractor Richard Kemble Ceilings who had a team of four on site for four months. The 230 Axiom Knife Edge canopies, containing a mix of Graphis Cuadros, Perla and Optima mineral tiles into which were installed lighting, signage, smoke alarms and air conditioning outlets, were the largest number of canopies they have installed on one project to date.


These perform particularly well acoustically since they absorb sound from both their front and back (top and bottom) surfaces. They are also available in kits which take the guesswork out and add the detail of precision engineered, pre-cut, ready to assemble profiles and accessories.


The brief was to provide new school accommodation to a 21st Century standard and comply with BREEAM requirements.


Gareth Nutt, head of property and regeneration, NPTCBC, said: “Our in-house design team have specified Armstrong ceilings extensively in the past. This building was designed to make use of the thermal mass of concrete structure and the pods or canopies were specified in this instance as they allowed this mass to be exposed.