Green MPs open the refurbished Sustainable Building Center

Published:  18 January, 2011

LEAMINGTON SPA: MPs on the Commons Environmental Audit Committee headed to Leamington Spa on 13 January for the official opening of the refurbished Sustainable Building Center (SBC). 

Joan Walley MP, chair of the environmental audit committee said: “The Sustainable Building Center is a shining example of the kind of eco-entrepreneurialism that is needed to revitalise Britain’s economy – and I am delighted to be re-opening it after its refit.

“Climate change is often talked about in terms of gloom and doom, but with innovative businesses like this we can turn this problem into an opportunity."

The SBC has now been transformed into a Plumb Center training and skills facility which will provide people with the skills to become installers of new sustainable home technologies – such as solar panels or ground source heat pumps. Members for the Environmental Audit Committee were given a presentation and tour by Tim Pollard, head of sustainability, during their visit.

The £3.2m SBC, which is the UK’s first commercial showcase for sustainable building products and construction methods, is constantly evolving, Mr Pollard explained.

The remit of the Environmental Audit Committee is to consider the extent to which the policies and programmes of government departments and non-departmental public bodies contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development, and to audit their performance against government targets on climate change and the environment.

The building itself features 170 types of products, including photovoltaics, solar thermal systems, ground and air source heat pumps, biomass, rainwater harvesting, water saving devices and sustainable urban drainage. It also features other sustainable technologies such as a sedum roof, e-glazing, natural and low energy lighting, a variety of insulation and green floor coverings.

Simon Allan, renewables director, Plumb Center said: “The SBC has been upgraded from a living, interactive centre enabling visitors to experience the latest technologies and the widest range of sustainable, energy-efficient and recycled building products, to include facilities to offer a range of renewable training courses including both product training and courses on legislation and safety requirements.”

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