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Wales Institute for Sustainable Education, Machynlleth, Wales, United Kingdom

Thursday 30 Jun 2011

A WISE move...

All images © Timothy Soar 
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Pat Borer and David Lea rewarded for true sustainability through RIBA Award scheme 

The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE) at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth will be presented with the prestigious RIBA award on Friday 8th July at 12pm. Guests will attend the ceremony to see Peter Clegg, Senior Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley and member of the RIBA Awards Group, present the award to architects Pat Borer and David Lea and building contractor Ian Sneade.

The WISE building is constructed of materials with low embodied energy: glulam timber frame, hemcrete walls, rammed earth, lime renders, slate, cork, home-grown timber flooring and finishes of natural paints and stains. It is well insulated and airtight with heat recovery systems, solar tube arrays and photovoltaics on the roof. It is also connected to a biomass combined heat and power plant.

The building provides teaching and workshop space for CAT's sustainable architecture courses. Students studying for a Professional Diploma or a postgraduate degree in architecture will now be taught in a building that embodies the sustainable design and architecture principles that they are learning. The ceremony will take place at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, during the annual Architecture Librarians' Group (ARCLIB) conference. ARCLIB said that they were honoured that the WISE building will be presented with a RIBA Award during this event.

Jonathan Speirs, Jury Chair for RIBA Awards in 2011 in Wales, said: “We constantly see the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘eco-friendly’ being used to describe buildings, in many cases incorrectly. This project not only lives up to the centre’s mission statement but it does so with a calm and quiet confidence. Many such buildings ram home their credentials; this building doesn’t and as a result is a delight. Moving through the building, the jury were taken with the intelligent and creative use of daylight which, with the building control system, means that there is very little requirement to use artificial lighting. The choice of materials was researched and taken very seriously by the architects who seemed to be completely in tune with the client and its goals.”

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