The group was hosted by Wolseley UK’s Head of Sustainability, Tim Pollard, who was instrumental in founding the purpose-designed building which provides a showcase of all the sustainable products and systems available from the UK’s leading specialist plumbing and heating product distributor.
Tim showed the apprentices technology ranging from air and ground-source heat pumps, biomass boilers and combined heat and power units to solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting, porous paving and underfloor heating, and highlighted their respective merits for domestic and commercial use.
He also gave a lecture on the challenges facing Britain as it seeks to reduce the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy in order to meet its 2008 climate change commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, emphasising the vital but also exciting role his audience will play in delivering a sustainable future.
The apprentices also toured Wolseley’s 355,000sq ft National Distribution Centre which processes 65 million items a year and is powered during the summer by an array of 8,000 photovoltaic panels that also deliver an energy surplus for export.
Tony Harrison, Key Account Manager for Wolseley UK, said: “Manufacturers, specifiers, installers and end users all need to engage in tackling climate change and increasing energy efficiency, which is why we invited J S Wright’s apprentices to our Sustainable Building Center. They were attentive, enthusiastic and a credit to a company with whom we have built up a strong and trusted relationship.”