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Construction completes at Britain's Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre
Construction work at the new £7 million ($10.5 million) Britain's Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre at Lakes College, Lillyhall has been completed ahead of schedule.
Built by Esh Construction and managed by Cumbria County Council, the 11-metres high building is currently undergoing finishing works. The new centre is being seen as a crucial investment in the future of young people in West Cumbria and will offer vital skills to the nuclear industry.
The building has a total footprint of 3,380 square meters and has been designed to be energy-efficient. It has employed various modern renewable and sustainable technologies. Over 60 square meters of photovoltaic electric panels are included which would produce 9KW peak electrical output and is estimated to save around 6.3 tonnes of CO2 per year. Rain water harvesting will store water which would be used for ground floor toilets and brickwork mortar mill.
The building has also employed heat recovery systems so that heat generated in teaching areas is recognised by sensors and factored into the building’s overall heating system. Low energy light fittings use daylight sensors and occupant detectors to ensure economic use of energy.
The building features extra insulation, natural ventilation and thermally efficient windows and external doors. A Brise Soleil solar design on the building protects it from excessive summer heat and allows passive solar heating in winter. Low-flush toilets and percussion taps further limit water usage.
The centre has also incorporated a number of teaching aids so that students can learn more about their trades from the building itself. These include vision panels in the floor which offers views on how the floor has been constructed; and a toilet with a clear cistern and clear rear vision panel so plumbing students can understand how a real toilet works.
The building is also adaptable to future needs. Its internal walls and the internal galvanised steel stairway can be easily disassembled and rebuilt elsewhere within the building if the layout needs to change in the future.
Britain’s Energy Coast, through funders Nuclear Management Partners, has invested £4 million ($6.04 million) in the centre while Britain’s Energy Coast Campus, through its funders the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has provided a further £2 million ($3.02 million). Lakes College will invest a further £1 million ($1.5 million) in new equipment and facilities.
The centre has been built on the existing site of Lakes College, which will run the centre, and will have state-of-the-art teaching spaces and workshops for up to 600 students. It will offer courses for electrical installation; plumbing; brickwork; carpentry & joinery; painting & decorating; high specification and exotic welding and fabrication; machinist workshop; plus courses and skills around renewable energy technologies including solar photovoltaic and solar thermal hot water systems.
After an official opening, which is planned in next two months, there will be a phased transition of students.