WISE: Retraining a Generation for a Low Carbon Future

We touched on the building of WISE — the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education when we interviewed Paul Allen, development director of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) (Europe's leading eco-center which we also featured here ). WISE is to be built on the site of CAT, and is being billed as one of the most innovative green building projects in the UK. The building itself will include cutting-edge features such as low embodied-energy construction materials including earth and hemp; energy efficient glazing for maximum natural day lighting and passive heat gain; solar water heating integrated into a district heating system; and semi-transparent PV technologies used to provide both energy and shading.

Ultimately though, the centre will be about much more than just these high-tech green building methods. WISE's self-proclaimed goal is to re-train a generation for a low carbon future. CAT already runs a dizzying array of courses, from organic gardening to renewable energy and green architecture, and this program is only likely to be stepped up once WISE opens its doors in 2008. The centre is also likely to become a hub for important conferences on all aspects of sustainability:

"Wise will have first class teaching facilities including laboratories, workshops, classrooms, seminar rooms, and a lecture theatre. There will also be brand new accommodation and new restaurant facilities. WISE can be used by organisations and businesses keen to find out how they can improve their green credentials. By hosting conferences at WISE we can show sustainable solutions in action."

The project is slated to cost approximately UK£6.2 million (US$12.4 million), and £5.4 million of this has already been raised. CAT is appealing urgently to its supporters to help raise the rest of the money, and anyone interested in supporting this groundbreaking initiative can donate online now. ::WISE:: via CAT::

Tags: Alternative Energy | Architecture | Green Building