The Centre for Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE) has been officially opened in Stoke-on-Trent by Andrew Stunell MP, Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
The facility was built at a cost of £11.4 million and is the result of collaboration between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Stoke on Trent College, the BRE and private industry, with additional sponsorship from E.ON.
It is designed to provide the necessary skills to transform the UK’s housing stock in line with higher energy efficiency standards and will open to students at the start of January 2012.
Phase one has delivered the training centre for the building industry and the new Stoke on Trent College Technology Centre and was constructed by the Shaylor contracting group.
Courses and tutorials will be provided for technology including photovoltaic (solar) panels, ground source heat pumps, new insulation techniques and other solutions.
The CoRE building will also be a research tool as it is fitted out to the highest BREEAM energy efficiency standards, including 185 PV panels fitted to the roof.
A second phase of the project will see the historic Enson Works, a 19th century Listed pottery factory, brought back to life.
“Over three-quarters of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 have already been built – so it is vital that we find ways to reduce carbon emissions from all types of existing buildings, and for every type of budget, or the country risks losing its battle against climate change,” said Mr Stunell..
“But with the clock ticking towards the launch of the Green Deal, it is now essential that businesses have all the necessary skills to carry out green upgrades on existing homes.”