10 Facts about the Construction of UWC Dilijan College


The official opening ceremony for the prestigious boarding school UWC Dilijan College in Armenia was held in October 2014. Project Manager Dmitry Letov shared with the internet portal Cre.ru some of the most interesting facts about the project.

10 facts about the UWC Dilijan College from Dmitry Letov, Project Manager for the construction of the school:

1. Unique location. The boarding school UWC Dilijan College is located in the mountains of Armenia on the boundary of Dilijan National Park. Ten hectares of land were allocated for the school’s construction.

2. Architecture. The British architecture bureau Tim Flynn Architects had a complicated task – to ensure that the school’s buildings fit in with the landscape of the park and to minimize the environmental impact of the project. In order to find the right solution, Tim Flynn studied the experience gained in the construction of more than 40 school campuses around the world.

3. Land study. The construction of the school took place in difficult climatic and hydrogeological conditions, including the fact that the territory is located in a seismic zone. At the beginning of the construction work, the general designer and general contractor for the project – RD Group (part of RD Group) – carried out a number of studies of the land. The company studied the behavior of the nearby Aghstafa River over the past 100 years and modeled how it impacts the level of ground water. Based on this analysis a special drainage system was installed at the construction site. Moreover, a total of 150 ground support walls were constructed to prevent landslides.

4. Project optimization. With the help of an audit of the project plans, construction work and project expenses were optimized. As a result an additional 3000 square meters of floor space was added to the project, more than $5 million was saved and the construction time was reduced by 2 months.

5. Investment. In total the capital development of the school will require an investment of $190 million. The project is being financed by private funds. The idea to create UWC Dilijan College belongs to the well-known businessman Ruben Vardanyan and his wife Veronika Zonabend.

6. Construction phases. In the summer of 2014 RD Group completed the first phase of the project (37,000 square meters). The second phase of construction will be completed in 2017 (32,000 square meters). Thus the total area of the school will reach 69,000 square meters and as many as 650 students will be able to study there every year.

7. Green technologies. Environmentally friendly technologies were used in the implementation of the project: 7300 square meters of green roof, 1300 square meters of green walls and more than 18,000 square meters of façade was finished with natural stone. Moreover, thermal regulating façade and air recuperation technologies were used along with low-e energy efficient Pilkington glass and an extensive building management system. UWC Dilijan College is currently undergoing BREEAM certification.

8. Project team. More than 50 subcontractors from 15 countries took part in the construction of the school. More than 1000 builders worked at the construction site on a daily basis. 99% of the employees are residents of Armenia and approximately 30% are residents of the town of Dilijan. The new employees underwent training with RD Group on international construction standards.

9. World-class education. In October 2013 the school in Dilijan became a member of the international United World Colleges (UWC) network, which includes 14 colleges around the world. The school’s participation in the UWC network provides graduates of UWC Dilijan College the opportunity to continue their education at the leading universities of the world.

10. Maintenance and upkeep. The school’s campus includes two tennis courts, a European-standard basketball court and a football field which corresponds to FIFA’s standards. The maintenance of the school’s infrastructure and engineering systems will be overseen by the facility management company RD Management, which is part of RD Group.