An innovative Small Animal Care and Veterinary Medicine Centre, and Horticulture Department at the Walford Campus offers students the latest resources in which to study over 90 species of vertebrates and invertebrates, and houses more than 500 examples of animal life.
Setting the standard for sustainability
In addition to providing state-of-the-art teaching accommodation, the new Small Animal Care and Horticulture Centre incorporates a range of ‘eco-friendly’ features. Of the £2.7m total cost of the project, over £350,000 has been spent on sustainable technologies. In May 2007 the Centre won the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ regional award for Sustainability.
The heating system is fed with ‘biomass’, comprising used animal bedding and wood waste from the College’s estate. The water is pre-heated using geothermic energy via a ground source heat pump. The south-facing roof contains photovoltaic cells providing electrical power and this is supplemented by a wind generator. Additional power is available from an anaerobic digester which generates electricity utilising methane produced by slurry from the College’s dairy herd!
As well as providing a building that is extremely economical to run, the Harris Centre is an excellent teaching aid that demonstrates the relative effectiveness of a range of green technologies. This acts as a demonstration project for students studying a range of environmentally orientated courses up to and including degree level.
The building overlooks an extensive area of newly formed animal compounds. Monkeys have access to a small island in front of the new centre whilst meerkats have a new home in their purpose-built enclosure. In addition to a suite of new aviaries, an extensive new bird of prey facility has been created. The College’s alpacas and wallabies have new paddocks, and existing reptile and small mammal collections have also moved to the new Centre.