Brand New School is Benchmark for Roof Sustainability

The Awel-y-Mor Primary School site, situated at the heart of the town of Port Talbot in Wales, needed to undergo major redevelopment in preparation for its brand new fit-for-purpose school to replace the two pre-existing primary schools, which had experienced serious build repair and surplus capacity issues.

The Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council wanted a state-of-the-art school that was fitting for the 21st century and that would provide unparalleled learning opportunities to the Sandsfield area. This complex project required the installation of a wide range of roofing systems on a variety of different pitched roofs, which included the use of Bauder’s bitumen, single ply, green roof and photovoltaic (PV) systems. The scheme was also designed to meet an extremely high level of sustainability and achieve an excellent rating according to BREEAM’s environmental assessment.

The new school consists of fifteen different roof areas, amounting to over 1,800m² in all. Roof areas totalling 300m² were fitted with 92 PV modules, which were secured to Bauder’s PVC single ply waterproofing, enabling Awel-y-Mor to generate at least 25.9 Megawatt Hours of solar power each year. This PV system was installed without any penetration of the waterproofing or roof deck, ensuring that the integrity of the roof is completely upheld. The remarkable simplicity of this installation also meant that roofing contractor, Span Roofing, could fit the entire PV array in just one day, helping ensure that there was no disruption to the commencing school term.


The PV and green roof systems were specified because they deliver significant cost and environmental benefits to the school, as well as providing an aesthetically pleasing visual reminder of the importance of sustainability. The sedum vegetation extends the life of the waterproofing while supporting the local environment and the PV panels help generate energy for the school.

Despite the challenges encountered during the project the work at Awel-y-Mor was completed on time and to budget, providing the client with an innovative and eye-catching roof that boasts extraordinary environmental credentials, bringing real value to the local community. The school was officially opened for the September school term in 2013.

Jonathan Morris, lead architect for the project from Neath Port Talbot Council, stated, “Incorporating such a diverse array of flat roof systems onto one building naturally brought with it many challenges. However, the project team delivered exceptional levels of workmanship and project management to coordinate the installation of all the systems and transform what was simply a green field into what is now a benchmark for innovation and sustainability on school roofs. The added benefit of procuring the complete roof package from Bauder, coupled with their regular site inspections and reports also made sure our site operation ran smoothly.”