Centre For Alternative Technology (CAT)

What do we do?

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CAT is an education and visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. We cover all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.

Our facilities

Our site is a unique and valuable practical demonstration centre, a living laboratory with an enormous range of live examples of sustainable solutions.

CAT has the largest range of installed renewable systems anywhere. These include:

  • Photovoltaics
  • Solar thermal
  • A micro-grid
  • Off-grid and grid-connected systems
  • Biomass combined heat and power (CHP)
  • Hydro
  • Air source heat pumps
  • A community heat main
  • A range of small to medium wind turbines
  • We also have two reed bed systems, our own off-mains water supply, and extensive organic gardens.

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In our day-to-day activities we:

  • Run a visitor centre which is open 7 days a week, with 7 acres of interactive displays.
  • Offer a free information service answering enquiries on all aspects of sustainable living.
  • Run a graduate school with a range of postgraduate degrees in environmental architecture and renewable energy.
  • Run residential and one-day courses for the general public, as well as more specialised courses for builders, engineers, electricians and plumbers.
  • Provide curriculum-based education to visiting schools, colleges and universities.
  • Host residential education trips for schools and colleges in our unique eco-cabins.
  • Carry out educational outreach work, including teacher training and school visits.
  • Publish books on key environmental issues – and their solutions.
  • Run a successful volunteer programmes for those that want to gain hands-on experience.
  • Have a growing network of supporter members who receive our quarterly magazine and an invite to our annual conference.
  • Provide an eco-shop and vegetarian restaurant on site. For those further afield, we also have a mail order service.

We also run or are involved with the following projects:

  • ZeroCarbonBritain – a series of research reports addressing scenarios for reducing the UK’s emissions to zero in 20 years.
  • Coed Gwern – 15 acres of sustainably managed woodland, which is home to a range of courses, as well as being monitored and managed for biodiversity.
  • Dyfi Biosphere – the only UNESCO Biosphere in Wales.

To find out more why not visit our centre, or call our information service.