Green Gown Awards 2012 - Colleges & Smaller Institutions - Derby CC & DACES - Finalist

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Derbyshire Eco Centre

Derbyshire Eco Centre is the county hub for education for sustainable development (ESD). It is at the heart of Derbyshire County Council's (DCC's) drive to combat climate change, and to unite people, places and prosperity. It is managed by Derbyshire Adult Community Education Service (DACES) supporting ESD throughout the service, embedding it in community learning, and both adult and employer responsive provision. It is the only local authority adult learning centre in the country that is dedicated to ESD.

The Centre is on former quarry land on the edge of the Peak District National Park and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The course programme includes courses that support the rural tourism economy and partnerships empower the community to learn independently.

The building has BREEAM excellent status for design - the first building in Derbyshire to achieve this. It has low embedded energy and uses local materials in new ways. Designed for energy and landscape conservation, it lessens the barriers between outdoor and indoor learning. An air source heat pump, high levels of insulation and a travel plan help to reduce the operational carbon costs further and a second phase of carbon neutral energy generation is planned.