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Welsh sustainability centre CAT faces huge cash shortfall

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The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales is appealing for more than half a million pounds to fix ‘awful’ work by the project contractor

The £5 million Pat Borer and David Lea Architects-designed scheme (AJ 11.02.10) fell into disarray when structural defects were found in the building after lead contractor Frank Galliers was dismissed in June 2009, according to CAT.

A spokesperson for the centre said: ‘Supports and insulation had been omitted from areas of the flooring and part of the structural frame was not correctly installed.’

 CAT then lost out on £500,000 owed in High Court-ordered damages from the project’s contractor, which is now in liquidation.

The educational charity has launched an appeal to raise £530,000 to repair and complete the project.

The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education scheme will still complete as planned in June but sections of the building are now being deferred and a new contractor has been appointed.

 Pat Borer said: ‘Three workshops around foyer courtyard will be completed later, but they will not affect the operation of the main part of the building. Some quite awful work had been done which couldn’t be discovered until we were able take the building apart. Some beams were not horizontal which meant doors didn’t fit [and much] external joinery had to have some work done.’

The centre aims to demonstrate ways of living that are less energy-demanding. The educational facility will accommodate over 450 students enrolled on its Part 2 and sustainable construction courses.

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