The National Self Build & Renovation Centre has been built on a scale unseen in the UK. You may never have thought about what goes into building or renovating a home. So much of the knowledge needed is hidden from view or littered with jargon. But here you can walk through exhibits that lay bare and contrast the various methods of building in exploded detail.
What’s more they’ll provide you with headphones for an in-depth guided audio tour of the Centre to help you get right into the detail!
I’ve just had a really interesting visit to the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon today. It was one of those useful reminders to me that I spend all my working hours dealing with sustainability, environmentally friendly technology and low-carbon-footprint buildings so it is all very familiar. Not everyone has that luxury!
The key thing that came across to me at the Centre was that you can see, touch, smell and really appreciate the reality and practicality of sustainable building. They have permanent full-size displays of almost anything to do with building from cut-way foundation and drainage, through super-insulated walls right up to roof mounted solar hot water panels.
Now, there are other places around the country where you can see beautiful examples of sustainability in action: The Eden project in Cornwall, Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and even the National Trust for Scotland has composting toilets at the Mar Lodge Estate, Linn of Dee car park in Braemar in the Cairngorms.
But, in Swindon, under one roof, you can see a whole range of eco-approaches, technologies and equipment. You can literally get under the skin of a sustainable construction or refurbishment to really appreciate what you are taking on and how to do it well. So if you don’t spend your time wading through mud on building sites (well, this summer, anyway) to look at environmentally friendly buildings mid-project then get down to Swindon and see it in action (the Centre even has a café if you feel in need of a cappuccino!)