Outside view of Bridgend College

STEAM Academy, Bridgend College

Enhancing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) educational provision in South Wales 
  • Customer
    Bridgend College
  • Procurement Route
  • Completion Date
    May 2021
  • Quantity Surveyor
    Capita PLC
  • Value
  • Form Of Contract
    NEC3 - single stage design and build
  • Structural Engineer
    Mott MacDonald
  • Area
    91,493 sq ft
  • Program Duration
    78 weeks
  • Architect
    Rio Architects Ltd
  • ME Engineer
    Mott MacDonald
Bridgend College


Bridgend College's new state-of-the-art STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Academy is the latest addition to its Pencoed Campus, and will allow the college to streamline and enhance its educational provision in South Wales. Procured through the SEWSCAP framework, this project is also part of Wales' 21st Century Schools Programme.


What we did

The contemporary two-storey facility comprises flexible teaching and support spaces, IT provision and social areas, alongside specialist accommodation, including mechanical and electrical workshops, motor vehicle workshops and high-spec laboratories. Informal group study spaces promote collaborative learning, while shared facilities encourage cross-department interaction. The design creates a collegiate aesthetic, utilising warm tones and textures, crisp detailing and well-considered proportions.

“The state-of-the-art building will bring 21st century learning to the borough and boost employment and training opportunities. We are continually evaluating our curriculum and campuses to ensure that we are preparing our learners for an ever-changing job market, and we aim to give them the opportunities they so rightly deserve.”

Simon Pirotte, CEO and Principal, Bridgend College

Lounge area

Making it happen

Collaborative working was a key element of this project’s success. We worked closely with the college, design team, contractor and supply chain to co-design a Project Charter, outlining end user aspirations, communication channels and strategies to minimise disruption.

Use of a 3D BIM model enabled us to fully coordinate designs, and guarantee that the proposals met with the college’s exact requirements and working practices.

The project also sought to inspire students. A new work experience programme featured trade and management roles, while a mentoring programme and guest lectures gave students time with industry experts.

Our team also worked alongside staff and students to help increase bio-diversity across the Pencoed Campus, including the creation of new bird boxes.


Making a difference

The building was developed on a brownfield site within the college’s existing campus, creating major efficiencies with the sharing of services, space, and amenities, whilst modernising and improving the general environment. Demolition materials from the older buildings on the site were used in the hardcore base of the new building and the surrounding landscaping.

The building design was also developed to accommodate and retain a number of existing mature trees on site. With the obvious ecological advantages of retaining such features, the trees also play an important role in providing solar shading to the south and west façades.

STEAM Academy, Bridgend College