Six future green leaders graduate today from local learning centre and community hub, Tod College’s Green Futures course.
The course for 16+ year olds has been specially designed to help students develop practical skills in environmental land management, natural building, repair and reuse, energy-saving, and renewable generation schemes. The first-of-its-kind 12-month, part-time course in further education has a practical focus on green careers and has a learner-centred pedagogical approach.
As part of the course, the six students, Georges Almond, Julija Hansen, Nate Jackson, Joy Rooney, Dick Sharp, and River Wild, all had to plan, design and present an independent project for a sustainability idea. Their projects include a community project engaging refugees in an allotment, a DIY skin care kit using natural products and local herbs, and an educational permaculture computer game.
During the course, the students have received educational training from several partner organisations, including Green Building store. Former communications manager Chayley Collis in one of her final acts before leaving, presented to the students on Passivhaus and retrofit building.
Taking place at the award-winning Cre8 Barn on Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Stirley Reserve near Castle Hill in Huddersfield, the students saw and experienced first-hand the benefits and principles of Passivhaus buildings, including Cre8 barn’s mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system. The Cre8 Barn was retrofitted to the EnerPHit standard, the Passivhaus standard for retrofit, by Green Building Store’s construction team in 2015.
Passivhaus buildings can cut the energy needed for heating by 90% compared to the UK’s typical uninsulated housing stock. The Green Futures students were taught the principles of super-insulation, airtightness, continuity of insulation (ensuring that insulation wraps around the building like a tea cosy), how to utilise the energy from the sun, as well as ‘heat recovery ventilation’, which is an essential component of Passivhaus buildings. MVHR systems work by warming up the fresh air coming into a building with the heat of the outgoing air, helping to conserve the energy inside the building.
Jill Delaney, People Director at Green Building Store, commented:
“Educating the next generation on how we can build more sustainably is crucial—finding those minds who are inspired and passionate about building a better future has never been so important, especially if the UK is truly to lead the way in reducing our impact on the climate, tackling fuel poverty and creating energy security. We’re delighted to see the next generation of green visionaries graduate today.
Green Building Store is committed to employing the best talent, and if we can help inspire future green builders and retrofitters, then we know we can continue our work into a future that will need such committed and imaginative students as those from the Climate Challenge College.”
The Green Futures course hopes to inspire students to find careers in areas such as natural building, growing, sustainable products, consulting, environmental engineering, horticultural therapy, renewable energy, and retrofitting.
Chelsie Naylor, Programme Leader for the Green Futures course, commented:
“It is brilliant for our students to learn more from companies like Green Building Store about retrofitting and the Passivhaus methodology and to experience the warmth and comfort of a Passivhaus building first hand. The support of our partners makes today’s graduation possible.”
One of the students, when visiting the barn, even described the warmth and comfort of being inside the Cre8 Barn as “like being in a hug”.
Stephanie Turner, Inspiring People Officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, added:
“We’re very proud of our award-winning Cre8 Barn and pleased to share such a brilliant retrofit exemplar with the students during their course, thanks to funding from Veolia Environmental Trust. Buildings designed to the EnerPHit (Passivhaus retrofit) standard are more relaxed and receptive places to work, teach and learn thanks to their greater comfort and energy efficiency.”
The green job market is growing rapidly, and as well as providing training, Green Building Store staff also spoke to the students about potential job opportunities in the company and the wider Efficient Building Solutions businesses.
For more information on the current vacancies at Green Building Store, click here.