The Margam Discovery Centre is a modern building that has many new sustainable features and is energy efficient. We aim to use the building and our teaching to encourage all people on courses to reduce their environmental impact and carbon emmissions.
The Discovery Centre has rainwater harvesting tanks situated underground. These tanks store rainwater which is then used to flush the public toilets. Around the centre we also have push button taps to reduce water usage.
We are always trying to reduce our energy consumption at the centre. With the energy we do use we are trying to use either renewable energy or efficient ways of heating the centre, cooking and for hot water. To help us we have a woodchip boiler that burns wood pellets for hot water and heating. In the summer this becomes less efficient and sometimes the system needs a boost and so we have a gas condensing boiler as a back up.
Above: Woodchip boiler (right) and gas condensing boiler (left).
Below: Solar Water Boiler
All of the food that is served at the Discovery Centre mostly comes from local suppliers and where we can we also use Fairtrade Products (including the Barrista coffee in the cafe!). Our vending machine also stocks a wide range of Fairtrade snacks and drinks.
The grounds that surround the discovery centre are used by our visiting groups for learning and recreation. There is an ongoing project to develop the grounds to provide better facilities for our groups. The ambitious five year plan includes the development of an allotment area, 2 roundhouses, 3 fire circles, additional classroom space and storage facilities. There are also plans for planting more trees to extend our woodland area with native trees and to create an orchard with heritage variety apples, pears and quinces.
As part of this development there will be more nesting boxes and feeding stations for wildlife. Some of these will have cameras on them so that activity can be viewed on the large TV in the cafe.