Last week Myself, Vera & Tor Needham (one of our fantastic freelance Cavers!) all headed South West to the Genesis Centre in Taunton, part of Somerset College’s campus, to learn more about Eco-Refurbishment (a subject very dear to our hearts) from the good people at The Green Register.
The Genesis Centre has been built using various sustainable construction techniques such as; Straw bale, Cob, Rammed earth and Timber framing. This is fantastic to see and a great example to local building companies and construction students of using sustainable materials and ‘low-tech’ building methods to produce an affordable, modern and comfortable building.
Although, the star of the show had to be the centres energy efficiency measures. Up on the roof they have solar PV’s and a solar thermal array for generating hot water, as well as rain water harvesting and a good example of a living brown roof. Back on the ground they have an enormous wood pellet burner and has probably one of the first examples in the UK to combine all these technologies together into one seemless energy management system. They were also on the verge of having installed a ground source heat pump to add to the mix!
All of this technology working together in one place, will make the Genesis Centre an invaluable educational resource for people looking to understand and combine sustainable energy solutions. If you’re local it’s definately worth a visit and if you’re not local it’s still worth a visit!