Coleg Llandrillo

Allen Martin Systems Control Carbon Footprint Of Coleg Llandrillo, Cymru


Ask for guidance on the location of the MBEC building on the campus of Coleg Llandrillo in Rhos-on-Sea, near Llandudno and you will be given directions to a striking new facility with a sailing boat in the compound.  No, this is not the result of an exceptionally high tide but the fact the 5,194 sq ft (4,825 sq m), four storey building houses the Marine and Built Environment Centre (MBEC) which majors in an impressive range of time honoured apprenticeship courses including boat building and repair.
During a 20 year relationship between Coleg Llandrillo and Allen Martin Conservation the on-going brief has been to reduce the carbon footprint of the whole campus and this particular building could not be more appropriate since it houses the teaching of apprenticeship subjects of the built environment such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning and also the traditional construction trades. The emphasis is wholeheartedly on carbon reduction and sustainability. The £8.5 million facility could almost be seen as a low carbon demonstration building since the main heating boiler plant is exclusively biomass and fuelled by a wood chip pellet. Rain water harvesting is used in flushing toilet facilities and roof mounted solar panels contribute to hot water services. The design and build brief was to achieve Breeam Excellent – the highest assessment level in best practice of environmental performance and sustainability. Suffice to say an assessment of Excellent was achieved and acts as a benchmark for future new build and refurbishment schemes on any of the nine campus locations operated by Coleg Llandrillo.On arrival at the reception area the presence of a striking, wall mounted flat screen showcasing the Allen Martin large format ecoview visual display provides visitors and students alike with a foretaste of the quality of reporting graphics. Through the display of unique, instant, real time active information, high quality colour graphics illustrate utility services usage, rain water harvesting and water savings, solar panel water heating contributions and total energy consumption. The Allen Martin leading edge capability design of information display system is shown in the quality of vector graphics which scale perfectly to any size of screen from typical desk top monitors up to large screen formats. 

Energy management control and reporting throughout the building to deliver optimum energy and cost savings is provided by Allen Martin Conservation through the installation of the company’s highly respected British designed and manufactured Neuron Intelligent Building Management System (IBMS). The secure system uses conventional internet browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to provide premises management personnel with real time monitoring of space heating and hot water services. Automatic alarm monitoring uses email to give notice of equipment failure. Neuron can also be used to control air conditioning and even natural ventilation giving optimum occupancy comfort conditions. If required, secure access can be gained from any computer anywhere in the world using the internet.


A typical example at Coleg Llandrillo is the heating of practical workrooms where students learn their chosen trades through hands on bricklaying, plumbing, painting and decorating, electrical installation, and even boat building. Allen Martin systems monitor individual room conditions and are programmed to activate heating to coincide with individual lecture timetables to bring workspace up to temperature prior to occupation. Switching off prior to the end of lessons without affecting internal conditions is a combined feature. Curriculum term lengths are also a programmable factor.


As for exterior applications Allen Martin’s Neuron will soon be controlling the floodlighting of the outdoor sports pitches currently under construction. A controlled approach will invariably be more cost effective than the human element and in this instance the application was necessary to meet a local planning condition requiring flood lighting to be switched off by 9.30 pm.


A recognised plus point of  Allen Martin energy management systems is the web browser design built into Neuron using standard internet protocols  and thereby sidestepping the need to install proprietary software or a dedicated PC. Unique user benefits seen as a quantum leap in the controls industry allow system designers and developers to create high quality graphics never before seen on systems of this type. The scaleable vector graphics replace lower quality bitmapped pictures with sharp dynamic images with no distortion when the image size is increased to suit the size of the viewing screen.


David Crook, Coleg Llandrillo’s Estates M&E Officer responsible over the past eight years for Coleg Llandrillo’s entire estate of 408,632,000 sq ft (37,962 sq m) spread across 9 sites praises the ease of access of Allen Martin intelligent building management systems via the internet. Especially where several remote satellite locations are to be managed and monitored. Out of hours access availability is possible providing internet connectivity is available.


David Crook, Estates M&E Officer sees the finishing touch to the £32,000 installation as the Allen Martin Eco View real time display monitor visible to everyone as they arrive and leave the building: “It is a constant and live demonstration of energy usage and energy savings for all occupants in the building to see. It is also a constant reminder to students of their future role in sustainable construction methods and carbon reduction.”


With input from Allen Martin and with the passing of time, it will be possible to display historic information of comparative cost savings and energy usage data via the ecoview display.