The futuristic new Visitor Centre at Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire has won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award for 2007.  The £2.6m centre, which opened in April, beat off competition from 17 other buildings from Scotland to Cornwall to take the prize.  Crucial to its success was the use of local materials. Wood for the cladding came from the surrounding forest, water from a local spring and rainwater is gathered for tasks such as flushing toilets. The building’s energy needs are met by a blend of renewable sources, including wood chips from the forest, solar and wind power. Even the reception desk is made of recycled mobile phones, yoghurt pots and wellington boots.

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