Sunday, 28 October 2012

CAT: Centre for Alternative Technology

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is in Machynlleth in Mid Wales and was opened in 1973. It aims to demonstrate practical solutions for sustainabilty. It aims to inspire, inform and enable.

The building itself is built upon an old slate quarry. In order to get to the centre, which is located at the top of the quarry, visiters have to travel using the cliff railway. This is operated using the principle of water balancing.


 (The cliff railway explanation, the cliff railway and inside)

After arriving at the main building we were told that the talk would be given at 12:30. We waited in the vegetarian organic cafe and ate some tasty food. 


The talk was given by Jo Gwillim. He informed us that the CAT took 5 years to build and cost £6, 000, 000! The building faces south in order to utilise the sunlight as much possible using less artificial lighting and using the sunlight to heat up the building. The walls, mainly compressed earth, act as insulters and keep the warmth in the building. He suggested that people should 'buy less things instead of focussing on recycling'. The main insulating materials within the building are; recycled newspaper, wood fibre, cork, wool, fibreglass and hemp. Jo also played a 4 minute animation by Anna Sancha that showed how we treat the world and how it should be treated.


Figuring out which label matches each material.

Toni with an eco-friendly wall.

Around the site there were multiple examples of sustainable energy sources and ways in which we can make help to make a difference.

Top L-R: Wind turbine chair, free green veg, a solar panel, several recycling bins, wind turbine

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