Students from a Denbighshire school have been given a glimpse into the future of housing with a visit to one of Wales’s first eco-friendly council estates.
Year Nine pupils at Denbigh High School were given a guided tour of the Llwyn Eirin development on the town’s Henllan Street where Brenig Construction are building 22 new passivhaus homes.
Each of the timber-framed properties is cocooned inside a double wrap of strong insulation material and heated by a ground source system which taps into warmth stored over 400 feet down.
Heat loss from the homes, whose cavity walls are filled with small hollow balls bound together with resin, is minimal which makes them much cheaper to run than conventional housing.
Caroline Thomas, a quantity surveyor with Mochdre-based Brenig Construction, led the tour of Llwyn Eirin, the first housing estate to be built by Denbighshire County Council is over 30 years.
She said: “We have visited the school to conduct sessions about the different roles within construction and the entry routes into a career in the building industry.
“Now we are taking about 24 students around Llwyn Eirin to see what it’s like on an active site and how all those different roles fit together and to look at the new and very different methods of construction that are being used here.
“These new methods will be increasingly rolled out across the UK and are very much the shape of things to come in construction because this isn’t a standard build.
“It’s also been good to see plenty of interest from girls because there are opportunities for everyone in construction and it’s good to see all the different skills that are needed.
“Brenig have tried to employ as many local companies as possible here – today we have PK Joinery, from Denbigh, on site and they have 17 joiners here and it’s important to us that the local community benefits from the contracts we win.”
Student Rhys Roberts, 14, from Bodelwyddan, said: “It’s been really good seeing all the different stages of a house being built.
“I’m quite interested in construction as a career, maybe about 50/50. My dad is a joiner and my grandad has worked in the building industry as well.”
Millie Bowman, 14, from Denbigh, enjoyed watching the plasterers in action and so did Holly Nicholson, 14, from Rhyl, who said: “My dad used to be a plasterer and I think it would be an interesting job to do.”
Luke Main, 13, from Denbigh, also enjoyed the visit and said: “My dad worked in construction so it’s been really interesting for me as I’d like to work as a joiner.”
George Ryan, Denbigh High School Head of Year Nine, said: “The students have had a brilliant time and have been really engaged with what has been a fantastic tour.
“It’s live construction. It’s not just pictures or a video but actually seeing a site in action and this is the new age of building – low energy houses like this will be the norm in years to come.
“It’s been a really positive afternoon. This is probably the most technically advanced council housing site in Wales and we are genuinely lucky to be able to see it being built.”
The Brenig Construction Group, based in Mochdre, near Colwyn Bay, was established by joint managing directors Mark Parry and Howard Vaughan who first met as six-year-olds at their local youth club in Glan Conwy in 1987.
They both qualified as civil engineers before being reunited at Dawnus Construction which they left to found Brenig in 2012 and the company now employs 70 people directly and is turning over £11 million a year, with £21 million of work already secured in future contracts.
They are also a growing presence in the housebuilding sector as Brenig Homes and have expertise in civil engineering and groundworks while their portfolio now also includes maintenance, social housing, commercial housing and plant hire.
They are leading the way in developing eco-friendly housing in North Wales and as well as at Llwyn Eirin in Denbigh they have developed sites using green construction methods in Llanrwst and Colwyn Bay.
For more information go to https://brenigconstruction.co.uk/