WISE Building Machynileth – Wales Sustainable Education

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Machynileth Building : Education Centre Development Wales

WISE Building, Machynileth – design by Pat Borer & David Lea

6 Dec 2012

Machynileth WISE Building – Award

Design: David Lea and Pat Borer Architects

Location: Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Machynlleth, Powys, Wales, UK

WISE Building WISE Building Machynlleth
photos © Tim Soar

Triennial Dewi-Prys Thomas Prize, Wales’s prestigious award that recognizes the importance of good design to the quality of life, identity and regeneration of Wales has been won by Pat Borer and David Lea for their design of the Wise Building at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth in Mid-Wales.

WISE Building Machynileth – external link to BBC report

19 May 2011

WISE Building Machynileth – RIBA Award

Design: David Lea and Pat Borer Architects

The WISE Building is constructed of materials with low embodied energy: glulam timber frame, hemcrete walls, rammed earth, lime renders, slate, cork, home-grown timber flooring and finishes of natural paints and stains. It is well insulated and airtight with heat recovery systems, solar tube arrays and photo-voltaics on the roof. It is also connected to a bio-fuel combined heat and power plant.

WISE Building Machynlleth WISE Building Machynlleth
photos © Tim Soar

RIBA Award winner, 19 May 2011

The naturally ventilated accommodation is arranged around courtyards and includes a restaurant, bar, foyer and 200 seat lecture theatre, offices, teaching rooms and 24 en-suite bedrooms.

Today the word ‘sustainability’ is frequently used; this project not only lives up to the centre’s mission but does so with a quiet confidence. Many such buildings flaunt their green credentials; however this building doesn’t and is a delight as a result.

WISE Building Machynlleth
photo © Pat Borer

WISE Building Machynlleth – Building Information

Title: WISE Building
Location: Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth
Architect: David Lea and Pat Borer Architects
Client: Centre for Alternative Technology
Contractor: Ian Sneade
Contract Value: £4.5m
Date of completion: Jun 2010
Gross internal area: 2,000 sqm

RIBA Awards

23 Mar 2010

Wales Institute for Sustainable Education, Machynileth, Powys

The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education’, Centre for Alternative Technology, provides a state-of-the-art environmental education centre to educate the principles of sustainable development. Built in an old slate quarry in the foothills of Snowdonia this visitor centre has 7 acres of interactive displays, organic gardens, cafe, shop and adventure playground.

When completed WISE will feature the following facilities:
• 24 en suite study bedrooms
• 200 seat rammed earth lecture theatre
• Workshops, seminar rooms and a laboratory
• Restaurant and bar

Wales Institute for Sustainable Education Machynileth
photo : ArcelorMittal

The environmental credentials of all materials used on this project were evaluated and UGINOX AME selected for its excellent ‘Life Cycle Cost’.

‘This ultra thin stainless steel cladding will ensure the building can weather the wild Welsh weather. Less energy intensive than other metals it also means we don’t have to treat the wood with toxic chemicals. Wood treated in this way can not be recycled at the end of its life and must instead be disposed off in the same way as other toxic materials’.

‘It is becoming increasingly important to evaluate environmental burdens associated with buildings, encompassing extraction or harvesting of raw materials, processing, manufacture, transportation, construction, use, maintenance, recycling and final disposal’

WISE Building Machynileth WISE Building Machynileth WISE Building Machynileth Building
images : ArcelorMittal

Wales Institute for Sustainable Education Machynileth – Building Information

Material: UGINOX AME Terne Coated
Technique: Traditional Standing Seam
Description: Environment Education Centre
Location: Machynlleth, Powys
Architect: Pat Borer & David Lea
Subcontractor: North West Roofing
Area: 2,060 m2
Completed: Jun 2010
Client: Centre for Alternative Technology Contractor: Ian Sneade Contract Value: £4.5M

Suitable for use in warm roof or cold ventilated situations the corrosion resistant 316 grade stainless steel came with proven credentials and track record. The striking drum shaped roof covered with radiating tapered sheets that aligns to the perimeter glazing also incorporates a passive ventilation which is designed to avoid energy intensive air conditioning in summer when the high thermal mass of the rammed earth will absorb the heat and release it slowly, while the vents in the drum wall draw out stale air. The passive ventlation will also benefit by minimising heat loss in winter.

Wales Institute for Sustainable Education Machynileth images / information fromm ArcelorMittal


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Welsh Architecture

Welsh Architect Practices

Another UK project that features steel by ArcelorMittal:

Highcross Leicester – John Lewis Cineplex
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Highcross Leicester
image from ArcelorMittal

Highcross Leicester

Welsh Architecture – Selection

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Richard Rogers Partnership
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Credit: Katsuisha Kida Copyright: The Photographer
National Assembly for Wales

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Heatherwick Studio
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Hafod Eryri
Ray Hole Architects
Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre
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Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre

Maggies Wales design by Kisho Kurokawa

Welsh House Competition

Comments / photos for the WISE Building Machynileth Welsh Architecture page welcome

WISE Building Machynileth Wales