The Eco Social Center in Highwood, near the town of Chelmsford in the British county of Essex, is going to be an eco-friendly hall that is being designed and built by the local village community. The aim is to build a village hall as environment friendly as possible. The hall will be opened as early as this week for the use of the village community.
The center has been fitted with 80 solar panels which would fulfill its requirement of electricity. In fact, 80% of electricity as well as 60% of heating requirements of this building would be fulfilled by these solar panels. Through this building, the local village community is planning to save five tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
Apart from using a renewable source of energy for electricity needs, the center has also been built using various recycled materials. For instance, the toilet cubicles in the building has been made from old and reused drinking bottles, while the parking area has been made using recycled plastics.
But the building will not just cater to human needs but it will also have areas specifically meant for birds, bats and various types of insects. For this purpose, various boxes have been built into the building walls where these animals can come and rest. These boxes will be fully sustained with things like food and water for the animals. With these animal shelters the community is probably trying to give the animals a glimpse into the human way of “sustainable living”. The building will also have an orchard designed by the students of Writtle College later this year.
The village council has spent seven long years and an amount of 450,000 pounds in building this hall for the people of Highwood village. The money for this project came from various Government and private bodies which gave the village council various grants to complete the project. Organisations such as EDF Energy, the Big Lottery Fund and Biffa have helped in the creation of this eco-friendly center. On the government side, funds were granted from the Low Carbon Buildings Program.