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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
3m scheme to study bonnie banks
Loch Lomond (picture from Undiscovered Scotland)
The research facility has been built on the banks of the loch
A multi-million pound environmental research facility is set to open on the banks of Loch Lomond.

The Duke of Montrose will open the 3.4m centre at the University of Glasgow's Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (Scene).

The field station is the first of its kind in the UK and has been described as one of the best in Europe.

It features state-of-the-art laboratories, experimental streams and aquarium facilities.

It will provided unique access for any UK higher education institution to a habitat of such diversity and ecological quality and will allow for research ranging from ornithology and fish biology to aquatic ecosystems.

The new facility, part-funded by Scottish Enterprise, is a showcase for sustainable design and use.

It recently received the Carbon Trust Scottish Low Carbon Building Award, as well as an "excellent" rating for the sustainability of its design from the Building Research Executive.

'Highly innovative'

The most novel of the numerous sustainable elements in the design is a ground source heat pump, which will provide a low carbon source of heat.

Scene director Dr Colin Adams said: 'This new research building will expand our capability for world-class field research in the environmental sciences very significantly.

"Equally important to us is that this highly innovative and sustainable building design reflects the ecological work being conducted within the building and the importance of the surrounding ecosystems in this very special part of Scotland."

Stuart Ogg, operations director of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, said: "We are delighted to have supported this unique new facility which lays foundations for the growth of a truly world-class environmental science research facility in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

"Not only does the facility fit with the aspirations of sustainable building design but it reflects its sensitive environmental situation and I am confident the project will continue to go from strength to strength."

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