The £1m T.R.E.E. (Tullis Russell Environmental Education) Centre development was co-funded by Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Climate Challenge Fund, Tullis Russell and associated charitable trust fund the Russell Trust. It officially opened on 2 December and is now ramping up its activities.
The eco building was constructed on the site of the employee-owned papermaker’s former social club and training centre at its Glenrothes site, close to its mill at Markinch.
“A lot of materials were recycled and reused, so the building has a much lower embodied CO2 level in its production,” explained centre manager Derek Guthrie. “And the building’s features mean it has a low CO2 output when the building is running.”
These include rainwater harvesting, air handling units, and an automatic lighting system. The walls are insulated with straw bales, and the ceilings with recycled newspapers.
The centre has an exhibition space, meeting rooms, and a 59-seater auditorium. The original idea to set it up came about in 2009 when the papermaker celebrated its 200th anniversary.
The educational programme is targeted at schools from primary year five to secondary school year one and two, and focused on the four main topic areas of energy, resources, climate and biodiversity. Tullis Russell has partnered with charity the Ecology Centre to deliver the programme.
“The content has been closely aligned with the curriculum for excellence in Scotland, and really ties in with what pupils are doing in the classroom,” Guthrie added.
“So far three test schools have been helping us to develop the programme and the feedback has been really good.”
The T.R.E.E. space is also available to hire by businesses for corporate events such as meetings and seminars.
For more information visit www.thetreecentre.org.
An open evening for local teachers will be held on Thursday (6 February).