Forestry Commission Practices What it Teaches
Officially opened by HRH the Princess Royal, the Forestry Commission's newly built environmental classrooms in Staffordshire are using rainwater recycling equipment for toilet flushing to save on mains water usage.
The Birches Valley Forest Centre in Cannock Chase is leading by example with a range of green building features including Hydro International's StormBankTM rainwater harvesting system, which collates rain from a living sedum roof and stores it for reuse in staff and students' toilets.
"We see our commitment to sustainable practices as a key factor in educating the public and rainwater harvesting is an important example," comments FC Project Manager Brian Kedwood. " The StormBankTM collects water from the sedum covered roof of the classroom block. This supplies a steady flow of rainwater for the toilets, instead of precious mains drinking water."
The new, 347m2 Environmental Classroom Block is constructed from renewable timber sources and has 2 classrooms accommodating 60 students in each plus a lobby wih display space, staff offices and toilets. The building is carried on stilts to minimise requirements for foundation construction.
A 3300 litre capacity Hydro StormBankTM rainwater harvesting unit is installed underground in the courtyard of the Environmental Classroom Block. "StormBankTM was competitive in cost compared to other equipment," commented installer Jim Dean of Jim Dean Contracting. "It is also very easy to install, as the very strong tank needs minimal foundations for reinforcement."
The Forestry Commissions's Birches Valley Forest Centre, in Cannock Forest near Rugely, Staffordshire, provides a host of educational and recreational opportunities, including hike trails and orienteering routes, fishing ponds and high quality mountain biking routes.
"It's great to see organisations like the Forestry Commission endorsing the need for rainwater harvesting," comments Chris Williams, Hydro's MD (Europe). "That's why the Save the RainTM campaign was established, to increase awareness of the benefits of saving water and in particular recycling rainwater.
For further information about Hydro International's StormBankTM rainwater harvester, call 01275 337977.