Kent’s sustainable construction centre is officially opened

Last night saw the launch of the Build4 Sustainable Construction Demo Centre in Dover. Delivered by a Community Interest Company BSK-CiC and delivered as part of the EU Interreg IVB funded CAP’EM (Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco Materials) project, Build4 is one of two UK sustainable construction demonstration centres which will showcase construction eco-materials and provide hands-on-access to those that use them including professionals such as contractors, architects and engineers as well as students and DIYers.

Located within a dynamic and creative space inside a new industrial unit in Dover, the Build4 centre has been fitted out with displays of a wide range of sustainable building products including paints, insulation, timber, roof tiles, mortar, render and solar panels. Visitors to the centre will have a single source of access to new and innovative products that offer genuine sustainable, yet commercially viable, credentials.

One of six user friendly centres across Northern Europe, including France,

Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, showcasing environmentally sustainable building materials, Build4 also has the capacity to host small events, meetings, training and seminars. 

“I am delighted to welcome the opening of Kent’s new Build4 Sustainable Construction Demo Centre,” commented Bob Jones, BSK-CiC’s Chief Executive Officer. “As an organisation we support hundreds of businesses across the south east every month but we rarely see the physical fruits of our labour. With this centre we can show the business community the opportunity presented by the sustainable construction market, what it looks and feels like and how they can take advantage of it.”

“It is really exciting to see design, innovative materials and skills coming together in one place. The centre, one of a number across Europe, is really well placed to inspire our designers as to what is possible, our builders as to how to achieve sustainable structures and our craftsmen and, increasingly, women to be able to deliver it on the ground.”

The principal aim of the demonstration centre is to knock down the barriers and address the many misconceptions to using more sustainable building materials and help get these products in front of the people who will use them. The project, in line with CAP’EM’s methodology, is to provide Life Cycle Analysis through assessment of the products, further demonstrating their versatility, cost effectiveness and commercial viability.

BSK-CiC will also encourage eco-material manufacturers to utilise the space for focus groups, exhibition purposes, and training in the use of the materials. Further technical support for the eco-materials will be provided by UK project partner GreenSpec. 

In delivering the Build4 centre, the project team has been collaborating with the Dover Skills Centre, who is located in the adjacent building. The creation of the centre has provided students of the construction trade courses the ideal opportunity to gain experience on using the materials that will be part of their working life. It is anticipated that experience in the next generation of building products will also provide them with a competitive advantage over those students still only training on conventional materials.  

In line with the company’s responsibility for community interest, Chatham based BSK-CiC also gave recent graduate Neil Quinn of Central St Martins and Year 2 student Rafat Jahandideh of UCA-Canterbury, a unique design opportunity. These architecture students were chosen to provide the designs for the interior of the centre and for a series of demonstration units. The demonstration units have been designed to showcase eco-materials that are already widely available as well as materials that are just emerging onto the market.

For further information on the Build4 centre visit www.businesslowcarbon.co.uk or call BSK-CiC on 08457 22 66 55. For further information on GreenSpec visit www.greenspec.co.uk 

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