The main existing structure was an old redundant swimming pool cafe unused for many years. Funding from Biffaward and others has enabled the conversion of the old cafe to an environment centre for High Wycombe residents, schools and visitors.
Jane Campbell is the Development manager for the centre and she is assisted by a number of volunteers. The Centre is a registered charity and will host a number of exhibitions and events throughout the year as well as instigating project based work.
Renewable Energy Features
Disposal of Waste
As part of the brief given to builders Basil Wyatt, they were required to minimize the waste from construction operations. Whilst the waste generated in the construction is what would be expected on a project of this size, disposal companies were selected that recycle approximately 65% to 85% of waste, dependent on type for disposal.
Heating the Centre
The heating for the Centre is by traditional radiators, heated by a boiler which uses either woodchips or pellets - again, by-products from the timber industry. This system is supplemented by solar panels on the roof to provide hot water during the summer months. (We had hot water the day we arrived, and the boiler had not been lit!)
Some trees had to be removed from the site. These were shredded and chipped on site to be reused at a later stage in the landscaping scheme. Bricks from the demolition phase were reused to patch repair and infill old windows, etc - recycling materials that would normally be treated as waste and sent to landfill.
Importance to the Thames Valley
The aims of the Environment Centre are:
- Promote community participation, understanding and implementation of Local Agenda 21, especially energy efficiency, the sustainable use of resources and action for biodiversity.
- Promote awareness and understanding of, and community support for, strategies for sustainable development.
- Create a focus, meeting place and showcase for environmental groups.
- Create an interactive and supportive learning environment.
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