A sustainable building

To Provide Educational Activities In a Safe Environment

Activities can be based at the Centre building, one of the spectacular operating Mendip quarries, or in a wooded valley, Vallis Vale.

Safety is an important part of our work. When taking students, of any age, on fieldwork, safety must be a high priority. On quarry visits, safety is even more vital. All Centre staff are first aid trained where necessary (St.John's Ambulance). Staff driving the minibus are certified to drive on the road and in the quarry sites. All staff conducting visitors around the quarries have had full quarry Safety Inductions in Quarry Site Rules. Staff are in constant contact with quarry management of each site to ensure a safe visit. Risk Assessments have been prepared for all our activities, in consultation with the quarries where necessary. Assessments are changed or created for each new activity or risk.

The Centre is a Charitable Trust no. 1122738 The chief sponsors are the Mendip Quarry producers, but for a full list of sponsors see the link.

This allows us to provide our educational services free of charge.

Unsupervised access to quarries, operational or non-operational, are strongly discouraged by the quarry industry.

A Sustainable Building

The building was designed by Mark Kingsley Architects, Bath, with the aim of being energy efficient. Construction with high density concrete blocks, gives it a high thermal mass. Other environmental features include use of local rock and timber, a sedum roof, optimal use of natural light, ground source heat pump supplying hot water and heating, heat recovery ventilation, water conservation strategy, use of odourless paints and marmoleum floor finishes. There is also a 6 KW wind turbine installed to provide the electrical needs of the building.

The building has achieved a SBEM rating of A+ (i.e. a zero carbon rated building).

Facilities

  • Large classroom, seating up to 20 boardroom style, 32 school style and 60 theatre/lecture style. Equipped with computer projector and screen. WIFI. Sink in classroom.
  • Fully fitted kitchen with fridge and cooker.
  • Office
  • Toilets for males and females and adapted toilet for people with disabilities.
  • Changing/boot room
  • Outside areas for picnics, play and study. Steps to lake for pond dipping and walk around wooded perimeter of lake.

Staff

All staff are experienced in teaching different age groups. All staff are fully CRB checked and trained in first aid where necessary.

Staff driving in quarries are fully inducted into the health and safety rules for each quarry and liaise closely with the quarries to ensure a safe quarry tour.

Access for all

Every effort has been made to allow access to the Centre for everyone. There are no steps around the car park and into the Centre. A toilet is available that is adapted for people with limited mobility. Doors in the Centre are designed to be accessible by wheelchair.