Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Stoke welcomes national refurbishment centre

The new Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE) is to be opening in Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday.

£11.4m has gone towards the CoRE project, which will provide a one-stop, national centre of excellence for the construction industry, and allied trades, as they work towards a low carbon future.

It will be open to students in January 2012, and has been built in partnership between the internationally renowned Building Research Establishment (BRE), Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Stoke on Trent College.

CoRE is a response to the national and international challenge to reduce carbon emissions and slow down climate change.

Government targets to reduce carbon emissions by more than 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 have presented an opportunity to the UK construction industry as 20.2 million UK homes have been identified as in need of sustainable refurbishment and retrofitting; an industry estimated to be worth £3.5-£6.5 billion a year.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The education building at CoRE will provide a first class facility for training in refurbishment skills.

“The project is firmly putting our city on the map as the national and international focus for technological advances in the industry and it is exciting to see the first phase being unveiled.

“I hope Stoke-on-Trent residents and businesses take advantage of the expert facilities and training here on their doorstep.”

The centre will provide a showcase for current building solutions, and will host courses and tutorials to upskill trades people in areas such as solar panels, ground source heat pumps, new insulation techniques an many more innovative solutions to fit the UK greener homes.

The building itself will become a research tool as it is fitted out to the highest BREEAM energy efficiency standards; and the roof is fitted voltaic panels to generate enough electricity to heat and power the building, as well as providing power for the National Grid.

Some sponsorship for the project has come from energy firm E.ON, and Don Leiper, director of new business at E.ON was pleased with the potential in CoRE.

He said: “This building, and the work that’s going on to restore it, represents what needs to be done across the country to improve our homes and business premises – supporting at least 65,000 insulation and construction jobs by 2015.

“To do that we’ll need people with the right skills and the right knowledge and I’m delighted that through our sponsorship of CoRE and our partnership with the city, E.ON can play a significant role in that.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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