National Assembly for Wales

National Assembly for Wales - Construction

Unsurprisingly for a publicly funded building, cost certainty was seen as one of the most important criteria.  Originally, a project management contract was employed, however this did not give adequate certainty as to the cost or the schedule of the building programme.  Following a review of the procurement possibilities, RRP was re-commissioned under a Design and Build fixed price contract so that the total cost of the development could be assured from the beginning.

In light of this approach, prefabrication techniques with off-site assembly were maximised. In addition, natural materials including timber, slate and stone were chosen for their life cycle cost, including value, durability and maintenance regime, with each element specified to achieve a 100 year design life in the marine environment of Cardiff Bay.

As a public building, the Assembly has the responsibility of setting high environmental standards. Controlled natural light is used extensively throughout the design. In the Debating Chamber, a glazed lantern allows daylight to penetrate, while a roof cowl rotates to the direction of the wind to drive the natural ventilation. Forecast studies indicate that the building will run at a low 75 kWh/m2, well below the best practice target of 130 kWh/m2.