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Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 14:43 UK
Keele University hub plans sustainable dream farmhouse
Farmhouse at Keele University
Keele University wants to turn this derelict farmhouse into a green building

The Keele Hub for Sustainability hopes to promote green living on the university campus and in the wider community.

Central to this project is the renovation of a derelict 19th Century farmhouse which is situated in the grounds of Keele University.

Home farm has been selected to become The Sustainability Hub Building.

The aim is to turn it into a research and educational complex that is also completely energy efficient.

Building plans

The plans show up five main uses and distinct areas of the building:

• Exhibition Area, to display the most important technologies.

• Resource Centre, housing both computer-based and hard-copy information.

• Training and Education facilities, in which businesses and community members can attend short courses, consult with experts, and evaluate options.

• Applied Research wing, evaluating technologies throughout the campus, and elsewhere.

• The Earth Observatory, an 'outreach centre' to demonstrate the environmental importance of the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and the earth's mantle.

Natural resources

Diverse local energy sources are expected to power the hub including coal bed methane, wind turbines and geothermal energy.

These three energy sources could provide virtually all of the energy needs of the campus.

Pat Bailey, Dean of Natural Sciences at Keele, says that although the building will be a great educational tool, it's also important to recognise its potential to connect with local people.

"It was a very exciting concept for the university a couple of years ago to bring together the different themes of teaching and research and using the campus and energy and so on.

"But I think perhaps the most exciting thing for me is that this will allow us to reach much more out to the community."

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