Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pines Calyx 1st Energy positive & Carbon neutral building in Europe

Inspiration on our East Kent doorstep: 1st carbon negative and energy positive Conference building in Europe

Pines Calyx eco conference & events centre becomes a ‘carbon negative’ and energy positive building. Environmentalist Sir Crispin Tickell joins celebrations as centre becomes the first conference venue in Europe to achieve this standard.

The multi award-winning eco conference and events centre The Pines Calyx at St. Margaret’s Bay, Kent, is celebrating its achievement in becoming one of the first energy positive and carbon negative buildings in the country.

Sir Crispin Tickell, who is Patron of the Bay Trust, visited the building today to share the landmark moment and to see how the Pines Calyx is leading the way in demonstrating the pathway to sustainable design and living.

The pioneering environmental building has installed cutting edge technology to generate its own power and heat with the capacity to produce more than it consumes – making it the first conference building in Europe to reach beyond ‘zero carbon’ and become carbon negative in energy use.
Through integrating a revolutionary new solar ‘PvT’ panel system (which generates both power and heat) and a water source heat pump, the building now has a capacity to provide all its own energy needs.

Alistair Gould, who is Chairman of The Bay Trust, the building’s owners, said: “From the beginning we have sought to apply every low impact approach to both the construction and use of the building. We’re delighted that this imaginative and economic addition to the building means we have attained the rigorous target we set ourselves when we commenced this project 10 years ago. Most importantly, over the next two years the building will be subject to close scrutiny from the Kent University’s Department of Architecture whose team will be monitoring all aspects of the building’s performance.
The Pines Calyx is at the centre of The Bay Trust’s remarkable visionary programme to create a centre for sustainability education and healthy living. The building features rammed-chalk walls, a living roof, and a wide use of reused and repurposed materials along with state-of-the-art technology to control lighting and other systems. The surrounding nine acres of parkland and woodland is managed and shaped through Permaculture and sustainable land management principles where the grounds both supply the building’s water needs and, through a reed bed system, handle all waste water from the building.

Speaking at the event today, Sir Crispin Tickell said: “I commend the Pines Calyx as something of a model. It shows what you can do if you try. There is a big picture into which this building fits which includes global, national and local responses. People need to see and even touch what can be done. In such circumstances the Pines Calyx is a showcase.”

Alistair Gould added: “This moment is a really important step for us in our journey to explore and share models of how we can live and work happily and healthily within the ecological limits of the planet”.

General Manager of the Pines Calyx, Kevin Francis commented: “We anticipate that conference and event organisers will appreciate not only the first rate facilities of this beautiful building and its stunning surroundings, but also how the significant ‘beyond zero carbon’ status adds further to what is already a unique and inspiring venue.”

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