As part of the College’s £5.8 million redevelopment, this new building replaces old and now unused facilities. The new contemporary and environmentally controlled glass building houses a science and technology centre, the Collections House, teaching rooms and project spaces. There is also a stunning new reception area for the college as well as a viewing gallery over the Collections House below.
The commercial manager at the College, John Farmer, said: “The new Collections House is going to be a unique asset for the College. It’ll provide our students with an innovative, technologically-enhanced environment unrivalled in the further education sector – and they’ll be involved in every aspect of managing it, which will give them invaluable experience. Over the summer, we’ve been busy sourcing plants from around the country and Europe for the Collections House, which has been a challenge – especially as it is 8m high!” Environmental conditions will be monitored by a sophisticated electronic management system which will control ventilation, humidity, heating and lighting in addition to protecting and enabling the plants to flourish in a semi-Mediterranean climate. The systems will be readily accessible to students as a living demonstration of modern greenhouse technology. Heating will be provided from existing gas-fired boilers and heat will be circulated throughout the building by natural stack-effect ventilation. As there is no air conditioning, no refrigerants will be used and rainwater will be captured and recycled.