July 2, 2008

Skomer Building Wins Award

A SWANSEA construction company which helped refurbish facilities on one of Wales' best known wildlife sanctuaries, has won a prestigious award for sustainable development.

Dawnus Construction carried out a rebuilding exercise at Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire National Park coast, which has pickedup the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' Wales Sustainability Award.

The pounds 2mwork programme was undertaken as part of the Skomer Island Heritage Experience project and involved the reconstruction of a derelict 150-year-old farm complex.

The buildings have now been converted into dormitory accommodation for visitors and staff, comprising housing for the warden, a research laboratory and study rooms, and housing for the island's library and archives.

Skomer Island is famous for its plants and wildlife, including puffins, Manx shearwaters and seals. The island is visited by 15,000 people every year, and the project was designed to improve the facilities for visitors, volunteers and researchers, without disrupting or damaging the environment.

"It was of the utmost importance that the sensitive environment of the island was not disturbed during construction," said Dawnus director Andy Peters.

"Materials had to be lightweight and transportable, brought in by barge from Pembroke Dock and transported up a steep cove to the works area.

"Craftsmen lived in temporary accommodation on the island while working on the project, and had to ensure that they did not disrupt the environment while there. All the materials brought in had to be baited against rats, which could have damaged the wildlife population."

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