Building work at Bicton EaRTH, the exciting new Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub, is right on target.
Work to transform the old barn and stable block into a low carbon retro-fitted training centre with a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) “very good” rating is progressing ahead of schedule. The buildings have been re-roofed, and have 10kw of photo voltaic panels fitted on the south facing side. Underfloor heating and cooling pipework is now in place in the workshop areas and the solar heating and hot water array is installed on the roof. Suppliers of the underfloor pipework, Timoleon Ltd of Exeter have sponsored the installation of “vision panels” enabling visitors to see through the various floor construction layers and view the pipe work in both the under-floor heating system and subterranean cooling system.
The project continues to attract good will as it seeks to promote local businesses and products that are relevant to the low carbon economy and sustainable energy agendas. The latest cost saving comes through the donation of a new 8kW Villager wood burning stove from Arada Ltd of Axminster, fed by fuel crops grown on the farm, the stove will provide both heat and ambience to the visitor interpretation centre in the colder months. External cladding using western red cedar grown in Devon and Cornwall has commenced, completely transforming the aesthetics of the building and providing a “tea cosy” solution to the insulation challenges of an older building.
Jonathan Davis, EaRTH Training Co-ordinator, said, “The project is ahead of schedule and under budget which has to be good news. The new government incentives for consumers to generate renewable energy are creating such a rush in the market that we have already started our PV courses and are about to launch our solar thermal training, giving trade professionals the best chance to get ahead of the game. Bicton EaRTH is providing high level training right here in the South West, providing qualified professionals with the confidence and credentials to install renewable technology and offer real assurance for consumers searching for approved installers.”
EaRTH will also include a conferencing and interpretation facility to host events, seminars and education days for local businesses, community groups and schools. EaRTH is already being recognised as a centre for impartial information and advice where anyone within the wider community, from homeowners and schools, to installers and regional agencies can learn about renewable technologies.
Further courses in Photo Voltaic Panel, Solar Thermal Hot Water Installation and Micro Certification Scheme Accreditation are held on a regular basis.
For more details visit www.bictonearth.co.uk.
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