The Brian Foster Environment Centre
The Brian Foster Environment Centre was opened in 2003 by his widow, Ann Foster. The centre was dedicated to Brian because of his love for the environment and the support that he gave in setting up the centre. Brian was a lovely, caring, supportive friend, teacher and family man, as well as being mad on rugby. During his long career at Stringer, as a science teacher and senior member of staff, Brian was especially supportive of Dolawen and all environmental activities. Brian would have been so pleased and proud to see the centre full of people, young and old.
Double and Triple Glazing
Brighton Trade Windows generously replaced all of the windows within the Environment Centre, with new single, double and triple glazed units. The company wanted to make this contribution to Dorothy Stringer in recognition of our efforts to develop a sustainable approach to all of our work within the school.
Of course, it's intelligent, as well as sustainable, to try to improve our existing buildings for future use. Our dream for the Environment Centre has always been to make it an educational resource in its own right. Brighton Trade Windows came up with the idea of supplying single, double and triple glazed units so that we could monitor their effectiveness.
Either side of the window panes, the craftsmen fitted thermocouples to allow pupils to monitor temperature both inside and outside the window panes. This will make it possible to compare the efficiency of the single, double and triple glazed windows over the winter months.
The Environment Centre was crying out for a proper kitchen. We were really struggling to cater for meetings, woodland working days and other events. So we applied to B&Q for a good neighbour grant of five hundred pounds to put towards constructing a kitchen.
Thanks to Mick Baker for his excellent work installing the insulations, work surfaces sink, cupboards and appliances. Thanks also to Jean Baker for her excellent tiling. We tried to use recycled products where possible - thank you to Hermione for her old kitchen cupboard doors which now adorn our cupboards at the centre!
Part of the insulation in our Environment Centre is actually human hair! It is our bodies own insulation system, so it seemed to make sense. Professional hairdressers were brought in to chop the locks off of willing staff and students who donated their hair to the centre.
Our kitchen walls are kept cosy with 50mm of sustainable insulation made from Woven Flax.
Thanks to a grant from Scottish Power Green Trust and the Governments Low Carbon Buildings Programme, Southern Solar Ltd have been able to fit a solar hot water heating system on the roof of the Environment Centre. On the first day the water reached 44 degrees Celsius and since then we have recorded temperatures of over 60 degrees Celsius. The solar hot water system has been fitted with a data logger which will soon be linked into the computers and live data will be displayed on this webpage. This will show how much energy has been saved through the heating of the water by the sun. Mr Sandercock is very happy and has been washing dishes with a big smile on his face! If you go in there when he is there he makes you feel how warm the water is from the tap. A big thanks also goes out to Mick Baker, who has done all the extra plumbing for us!