The Centre for Alternative Technology
is concerned with the search for globally sustainable, whole and ecologically
sound technologies and ways of life. A demonstration and education centre, CAT
explores and displays a wide range of alternatives, communicating the options
for people to achieve positive change in their own lives.
Opening to visitors in 1975, CAT set out to develop and prove, by a living example, new technologies which would provide practical solutions to the problems that are now worrying the world's ecologists. Today CAT acts as a bridge between those seeking to explore a more ecological way of living and the store of practical, hands-on experience and information gained by working with sustainable technologies over two decades. Located in Mid-Wales, CAT's unique seven acre visitor complex is the ideal place to start of your search into sustainable living.
Powered mainly from a combination of wind, water and solar power, the site contains an exciting and educational range of interactive displays. A state-of-the-art water-balanced cliff railway operates in the summer carrying visitors up a 180ft slope to the main visitor complex. The wind pavilion, small-holding, self build house, transport maze, solar and wave power displays have proved popular with holiday makers, students and serious decision-makers alike. 'The Mole-Hole' offers visitors a chance to 'shrink the kids' and lets them explore the complex beauty of life within the soil, so they can relate to their environment in a new and more positive way, one which reflects the ways in which our society is taking seriously the need to adopt sustainable technologies and life styles. In 1997 CAT opened Britain's largest solar roof. It generates over 13 kilowatts of power and is constructed using an innovative mounting system. Normally solar electric panels are mounted on top of existing roofs, whereas the new system uses standard panels as the roof covering itself. This results in significant savings in the cost of the installation by offsetting the cost of the normal roofing materials.
The visitor centre is open all year round, 10am-4pm in winter and 10am-7pm in summer, phone 01654 702400.
CAT provides practical ideas and information on sustainable technologies and lifestyles. By offering positive solutions, we aim to inspire, inform and enable people to cause less damage to the planet we need to live on, while also increasing their quality of life. CAT therefore offers a range of services:
The Information Service
CAT's information service backs up our visitors site giving basic information and references to enable people to take their research further. It operates by mail, fax, telephone and personal visit. Our information team is backed up by constantly updated databases and aims to answer all queries within a week. It is best to contact them by post or fax, with as much detail about the information you require as possible. Enclose a stamped self addressed envelope - it helps enormously in providing this free service.
CAT produces a range of publications which explain in more detail how to use sustainable technologies in your everyday life. They aim to combine an independent overview of the subject with the practical information needed to help you make ideas happen. Each publication ends with an address section or useful contacts. Publications include: