Kenfig NNR Blog
Kenfig National Nature Reserve
Tel: 01656 743386
Fax: As above
The Reserve Centre is positioned next to the main car park. It is the base for managing the nature reserve and a place for
visitors to call in and find out about the site. There is a visitor centre, lecture room and public toilets. A small shop sells
drinks, light refreshments, knickknacks and booklets.
The building was refurbished and extended in 2006/7 and several green building design items included. The new part of the building has a green vegetated roof. Heating is via a ground source heat pump which gathers heat from the ground in front of the building and warms the rooms through under floor pipes. Solar panels on the roof heat water for taps and provides supplementary heat for the under floor heating. Rainwater from the roof is harvested and stored in an underground tank and used for flushing the toilets. Sun pipes direct sunlight into corridors where there are no windows. Two examples are in the corridor to the public toilets. The pipes turn two corners on their way from the roof to the corridor. Large internal windows maximise passive heating from the sun and a high-level window that runs the length of the building provides ample daylight reducing the need to use artificial light. Windows in the visitor centre and lecture room face the west and north-west giving superb views over the dunes towards the sea and Kenfig Pool. On a clear day you can see the Gower Peninsula. A passive ventilation system keeps the main rooms fresh using natural air currents. The feel of the building is light, fresh and spacious. Where possible, natural building materials have been used including natural slate floors and lime plaster on the walls.
The visitor centre currently has temporary displays on show which have been loaned to the reserve by various organisations and individuals. Funding is currently being sought for a permanent display.
Please note that the only public toilets for the site are within
Lecture/Meeting rooms available for hire from:
Back of building at start of rebuilding contract 17 07 06
How the building looked in the 1980s.
Rainwater harvesting tank being installed. This provides water for flushing the toilets
Extension under construction showing tractor shed in foreground.
Ground source heat pump pipes being dug in next to Reserve Centre.
Glulam beam being fitted on the roof. This was the trickiest moment of the build. The beams were very heavy.
Green roof being rolled out to provide a vegetated cover.
Solar panel and sunpipe inlet providing free water heating and some light for the building.
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