Bicton principal lays ‘milestone’ brick

The principal of Bicton College has laid the first brick for a ‘milestone’ building that promises to boost environmental issues.

The �1.48 million Bicton EaRTH building - the new environmental and renewable technology training, information and conference centre – is expected to be finished by spring 2012.

College principal David Henley said: “I am delighted to be part of another milestone for Bicton College.

“The Bicton EaRTH centre will be a unique learning environment for a host of users from professional trades people to school children, local community groups and students.

“It will be a fantastic example of environmental practice and renewable technologies and of the college’s commitment to training a new group of professionals able to find rewarding careers and meet the climate change challenge.

“All credit goes to the commitment of the staff at the college who have seen this project come to fruition and to our funding partners who share our vision of providing these training and conference facilities in an inspiring and sustainable building.

“I congratulate all those involved.”

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The college said the EaRTH building will generate electrical energy from photo voltaic panels on the south facing roof.

A solar thermal array and air source heat pump will also provide the dual function of heating and cooling the building via under-floor heating and cooling coils.

A biomass boiler fed by fuel crops grown on the farm will supplement the under floor heating and rainwater will be harvested for use in the centre.

The finished building will have four workshops for practical training in solar thermal and PV, heat pump, biomass and rainwater harvesting installation as well as an interpretation and conference space available for events, workshops and meetings.

The build is financed with funds from Productive Skills for Devon awarded by Devon County Council, Skills Funding Agency and Making it Local, together with sponsorship from the EDF Energy Green Fund and Bicton College.

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