Wernick - Swansea University

Project Details

Project - Swansea University - The Burrows 

Sector - Education

Technology - Modular

Company - Wernick

Project Overview

Wernick has delivered a second modular building for Swansea University. The two-storey, 2,600m² building was constructed with an end-to-end build programme of just 28 weeks.

Situated on Swansea University’s prestigious Bay Campus, the £4.9 million teaching facility is a H-shaped structure offers eight spacious teaching areas for up to 2,000 students, and space for the Student’s Union. The comprehensive interior fit-out includes folding partitions to create flexible spaces, lecture suites, PC labs and quiet zones.
The building, officially named ‘Y Twyni’ (meaning The Burrows), was procured through Fusion 21’s Education and Modular Buildings Framework and was built offsite using the latest innovations in modular design and build. Modules were manufactured in a quality-controlled factory environment in six weeks, with ground works on campus taking place simultaneously. The modules were then craned into place to form a complete building.

While the principal driver of a modular solution is time, the method presents a range of environmental benefits too. For example, up to 90% fewer vehicles arrive on-site and less waste for landfill is produced at each stage of the build. Concrete and plaster use are significantly reduced, as are CO2 emissions from on-site generators.
Wernick utilised their latest modular system – Swiftplan®. As modular construction has gained traction in the UK, Wernick were seeing demand for their services increase. Not only in the quantity of projects, but also the size and complexity of them with more and more clients wanting to access the benefits of offsite construction for a wider variety of applications.

Andy King, Deputy Managing Director at Wernick Buildings developed the new system, saying: “As the demands placed upon us changed, we realised we had an opportunity to innovate our approach to manufacturing our buildings. While our existing systems were flexible enough to adapt to nearly any requirement, the solution would not be optimal, and we wanted to develop something entirely new. The result of this endeavour was the Swiftplan® system.” 

Much simpler to manufacture and install and with performance improving features, like a fully non-combustible wall construction, and a CLT flooring system that provides performance comparable to concrete. It also provides much greater architectural flexibility, offering some of the tallest ceiling heights on the market at 3.6m to underside of ceiling soffit, able to accept any proprietary cladding system and incorporate large format glazing. “When Swansea approached us to deliver lecture space, both in time for the new school year and in a way that wouldn’t look out of place on campus,” says Andy. “We knew that Swiftplan® would be the answer.”

Learning from their previous project at Swansea University, the UK’s first energy positive office – the ‘Active Office’, which was delivered by Wernick in 2018, the University were very aware that to get the most from a modular solution you need to early engage with your modular contractor. This means engaging at RIBA stage 1 or 2 which allows the building to be designed around the modular system, limiting any design issues and maximising manufacture and construction efficiencies. This also results in a reduced build programme when compared to traditional construction methods.

Swansea University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Martin Stringer said: “Y Twyni represents the University’s commitment to developing flexible learning spaces, sustainable building methods and working with local manufacturers.”

Stuart Wilkie, Managing Director at Wernick Buildings added: “We are delighted that our local University is embracing modern methods of construction and all that modular buildings have to offer. Higher education institutions such as Swansea University are leading the way by providing innovative and inspiring spaces to enhance the student experience.”

For more information visit: www.wernick.co.uk