Centre for Alternative Technology

Solardome® glasshouse helps to educate visitors about climate change.

SOLARDOME Haven, CAT educational visitor centreHigh up on the hills of mid-Wales, sits a SOLARDOME® Haven. Looking out across the valley, this glasshouse can be found at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), an educational visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. They cover all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.

The Solardome® glasshouse, within the school gardens at CAT, is used as a colourful climate change display engaging visitors of all ages as they learn about the impact people have on the planet. It is also used as a beautiful greenhouse for a collection of ornamental plants that support bees and butterflies.

When developing their new school garden area in 2010, CAT wanted a robust, durable and eye-catching display area. Having already owned a SOLARDOME®2 greenhouse for over 20 years, they knew it would provide all the things they wanted – a unique and practical exhibition space, as well as an environment perfect for growing in. So without hesitation they once again turned to Solardome.

Freya Stanley-Price, who works at CAT, comments: “We felt that the Solardome® glasshouse would last a long time as it has a very robust design. It needed to hold up well in the Welsh weather and be able to accommodate large numbers of visitors throughout the year. It’s also visually striking, attracting people to our educational visitor centre.”

SOLARDOME Haven, CAT supporting insectsFreya continues: “The Solardome® glasshouse is an important tool for teaching people of all ages about climate change. Large colourful displays cover the glass panels, explaining the impact each individual’s carbon footprint has on the planet.”

The glasshouse at CAT educational visitor centre has also captured the interest of European visitors. Dr Jan Hollan, a physicist and environmentalist from the Global Change Research Institute in the Czech Republic commented on the dome: “I have been teaching students about climate change issues for more than 20 years. I know how important, but also how difficult, it is for students on courses and also other people attending my lectures and seminars to understand the greenhouse effect correctly. The Solardome® glasshouse at CAT is a great way to present the issues of greenhouse emissions clearly.”

CAT’s horticultural specialists also find the warm temperatures of the geodesic glasshouse perfect for growing plants that would otherwise struggle with the Welsh weather. In the summer, the glass dome is full of colour with hundreds of flowers in bloom.

Freya concludes: “Holiday makers with children love the dome as it is always full of flowers and butterflies.”

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