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British Construction Industry Awards judges visited the Great Glass House at the National Botanic Garden of Wales last week during their intensive round of site inspections.

Centrepiece of the garden is a 99m by 55m maximum span naturally ventilated glazed roof which creates a Mediterranean habitat on a hill overlooking the Tywi Valley, Carmarthenshire. Anthony Hunt Associates designed the project with architect Foster & Partners. Its complex tubular steel arch roof frame spans on ball and socket joints from a concrete wall perimeter.

Environmentally friendly services such as the storage and treatment of rainwater collected from the roof for toilet flushing are all concealed underground within the turfed earth banks which blend the structure into the landscape. Construction was managed by Schal International with roof fabrication by Watson Steel.

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