A college’s café has been handed a prestigious award.

The Straw Bale Café at Herefordshire College of Technology’s (HCT) Holme Lacy Campus received recognition at the West of England LABC Awards by winning the ‘Technical Innovation’ category in the local and most recently, the national finals.

The LABC awards are all about excellence achieved through building standards, technical innovation and sustainable designs. The judges said: “The team behind this project were not afraid to use some unusual materials and construction techniques.

“In doing so, they have created for Herefordshire College of Technology a new refectory that is an exemplar of sustainable construction.”
HCT’s principal Ian Peake said: “We were thrilled to win this award which recognises that we are at the cutting edge of building technologies – setting an example of what is possible to our students and employers.”

For the cafe’s architects and designers at Hewitt Studios, sustainability was a key aspect of the project and from the outset it was decided that as many of the construction materials as possible would be supplied from the Holme Lacy estate.

Paul Younger, the project architect for Hewitt Studios LLP, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition for such a trail-blazing sustainable project. “It is testament to the college’s commitment to green-issues that they commissioned such an experimental building in these uncertain times – not to mention their contribution of labour, straw, cedar and plants from the college estate.
“We hope that it will provide an affordable model for future sustainable building.”

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