Green Educational Centre Shows the Wise Way to Build the Future; BUILDING AT CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY INCLUDES A RAMMED EARTH THEATRE
WITH a lecture theatre made of "rammed earth" and hemp and study bedrooms fitted with energy monitors, a new pounds 5.2m centre in the wilds of Wales can today lay claim to be one of the world's greenest educational institutes. The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (Wise), which opens today at the Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth, is the biggest environmental facility of its kind in the UK.
As well as the innovative 200-seat lecture theatre, it will boast zero-energy toilets and organic gardens.
Paul Allen, director of CAT, said the centre will be pivotal in the transition to a zero carbon Britain, which will mean thousands of new green jobs in Wales and the UK.
"As demand for retraining in the environmental sector increases, the opening of Wise could not come at a better time," he said.
"I can think of no better organisation to take on the business of training up the thousands of engineers and skilled practitioners who will be needed to deliver a genuinely sustainable built environment."
Jonathan Porritt, former chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, said: "Right across the board we've got to educate people.
"CAT, through its Wise project, is really setting an example and demonstrating what can be done."
Kim Bryan for CAT said: "The launch of this landmark building represents so much for us and our supporters.
"The triumph of renewable energy and sustainable building technologies, the welcome shift in public perception of the need for green, clean energy sources and the major sea-change in local, national and global policies, particularly in terms of climate change recognition."
She said Wise has been described as being as significant to Wales in terms of innovation as the Eden Project was to England.
Focusing on the application of sustainable technologies in the built environment and set to host hundreds of students on several postgraduate courses, she said Wise was nine years in the making.
Project manager Phil Horton said: "The upper floors are complete for accommodation, offices and seminar rooms and our 200-seat lecture theatre is looking spectacular, with its rammed earth walls.
"Its construction features lime, which uses less energy than cement, hemp, which is renewable, and timber which is Forestry Stewardship Council certified. …