Fareham College’s state-of-the-art Energy Hub has been officially launched by Charlie Luxton. Architectural Designer and TV Presenter Charlie, who fronts TV programmes including Building the Dream and Homes by the Sea, is passionate about sustainable construction and the environment, so he was the perfect person to open the space officially.
The facilities total a £1.4 million investment. They include integrated technology, electric and hybrid charging points, ground and air source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and technology for smart homes.
This investment builds on Fareham College’s comprehensive campus redevelopment programme, exceeding £40 million, which has seen the college’s three campuses transform to become the region’s leading Outstanding provider of technical and professional further education.
The new training facility was conceived in response to the college’s commitment to delivering T Levels for construction and engineering studies. T Levels are new qualifications that focus on developing high-level technical and work-ready skills. They are supported by regional and national employers working to meet existing and future skills gaps to provide exciting and varied career paths.
The nine thousand square feet space has been repurposed from a sports hall to an industry-leading facility equipped with the latest technology to prepare students for their future careers. A mock house has been built central to the space featuring solar panels, plus a steel car canopy for electric vehicle charging stations. The exterior roof of the state-of-the-art Energy Hub is equipped with over 75 active Solar Edge PV panels as part of the development’s target to become self-sustaining.
Andrew Kaye, Principal and CEO of Fareham College, said: “We’re so pleased with the Hub, and the feedback from staff, employers and students has been hugely positive. What’s unique about this space is the attention given to the resources required for training the skills needed for a low carbon future. I’d like to thank Hampshire County Council Property Services, PMC and Scape Construct Limited for their support in designing, project managing and constructing this training environment.”
Architectural Designer and TV Presenter Charlie Luxton said: “If we are going to create the scale of change needed to provide low-carbon technologies, we need them to be front and centre of the construction sector. The future needs investment, a massive consumer uptake, leadership and trained, motivated and skilled people to roll it out. Educated students represent those people, and this is where we can empower them to make the change.”
Richard Fuell, Sales Manager of employer partner SolarEdge, said, “One of the biggest challenges we as the solar industry encounter is finding skilled labour. What Fareham College has created with the Energy Hub is truly inspiring, and I hope many other colleges all over Europe will follow their lead.”