There are a number of important on-going objectives regarding maintenance of the building stock and the general environment which are controlled by the Estates Manager.
Effective management of the Estate is a crucial aspect of maintaining high levels of health, safety, welfare and environmental protection. Uncontrolled management can have a significant and unacceptable impact on levels of risk for the College.
This estates department plays a central role in managing resources to create a welcoming, attractive, safe and healthy environment in which to work and learn, thereby helping to improve the quality of life of staff and students. Strong links with sustainable development are very clear indeed.
Construction and refurbishment
Bridgend College can reduce its impact on the environment and reduce its running costs by improving the quality of existing and new buildings. Sustainable methods of construction and refurbishment make sense on both environmental and value-for-money grounds.
Buildings which are good for the environment and good for wellbeing are good for the College. Bright, naturally lit, airy buildings are good to work in, enhance learning and reduce energy bills. High performance, well insulated buildings with low energy consumption lighting and good levels of light control all reduce costs. Low flush cisterns, concussive spray-pattern taps and grey water for flushing all reduce water consumption and drive down costs. Flexible buildings reduce the costs of adaptation and natural ventilation avoids the purchase and operation of costly cooling equipment.
Only timber and timber products such as The Forest Stewardship Council or similar, that have been lawfully obtained and have come from forests and plantations which are managed to sustain their biodiversity, productivity and vitality, and to prevent harm to other ecosystems and any indigenous or forest-dependent people, will be used on the Estate. This applies to both in-house work and is specified in contract work. Materials are re-used wherever possible during refurbishment.
Projects support environmental sustainability through the efficient use of space, reduced environmental impact and the promotion of biodiversity. The link between capital funding and environmental performance is already an important consideration with new buildings and when refurbishing existing ones. A Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) can be used to assess the environmental performance of any type of building.
Using this kind of approach, a building can be rated based on its environmental impacts, including health and wellbeing, energy, waste, water, transport, land use, ecology and pollution. These factors will be considered, so far as is reasonably practicable, in all maintenance and small refurbishment work. Measurements against these plans will be a factor in future capital allocations and maintenance/refurbishment projects.
Savings achieved throughout the life of a building will be considered alongside up-front capital costs. The design and delivery teams will always be briefed and understand the design objectives from the outset. Sustainable development will always be at the heart of any project.
The historic environment
The historic environment has an important part to play in the development of the College. Preservation of heritage reinforces the sense of community pride, creates local identity and can act as a catalyst for further improvement. Conservation and preservation of our historic environment is an intimate part of sustainable development and recognises the importance of those things that we already have. We will conserve and, where possible, enhance the historic interest at Pencoed in a sympathetic and constructive manner, whilst maintaining our commitment to developing a first class learning environment
The Estates Department will be managed in an environmentally responsible manner,ensuring that the buildings, land, plant or activities do not adversely impact on the local environment to an unacceptable level. Where adverse effects are identified, actions will be taken to minimise and mitigate those effects(e.g. from waste building materials, air emissions, gas migration, wastewater discharges, etc.).
Disposal of land
The disposal of land for purposes of financial gain will consider the likely impact upon the environment from future land development, whilst remaining sensitive to operational requirements of the College and gaining maximum value in disposing of such assets. Any such disposal will clearly demonstrate sustainable development within the decision-making framework.