Susliving Demo Centre Alt

The Susliving Demonstration Centre is located at Kingsriver, Ennisnag, Co. Kilkenny and offers practical workshops for students on a wide range of sustainable topics. The Demonstration Centre is specifically suitable for students from First Year to Transition Year. It provides an introduction and hands on approach to sustainable living concepts and practices. Each sustainable living topic involves a variety of activities in multiple areas including the following:

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energyis natural energy which does not have a limited supply. Renewable energy can be used again and again, and will never run out. It is an energy resource that is naturally regenerated over a short time frame and derived from sources such as the sun, in the form of thermal and photoelectric power. Other sources include wind and hydropower, and the photosynthetic energy stored in biomass, as well as other natural movements and mechanisms of the environment such as geothermal and tidal power.

At our Demonstration Centre we look at and experience the practical matters of:

  • The history of fossil fuels and samples of everyday products.
  • Experience using actual equipment for different sources of energy.
  • The meaning of a kilowatt-hour (kWh) by practical demonstrations.
  • Experience cycling to generate energy to power a bulb, a kettle, hair dryer etc.
  • See exactly how woodchips are used to fuel a biomass boiler that provides heat to the Kingsriver community.
  • Up close look at the onsite wind turbine, how it’s made and what it does.
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Green Building

Green building is about using construction processes that are environmentally friendly and use resources efficiently. These processes start right from site selection and design, to construction operations, through to maintenance, renovation and may even include demolition. The purpose is to minimise impact on the environment while focusing on increasing the efficiency with which buildings use energy, water and materials, and reducing the impact buildings have on human and environmental health.

At our Demonstration Centre we look at and experience the practical matters of:

  • Orientation of buildings and the use of solar gain.
  • What are sustainable building materials?
  • Using recycled materials in building.
  • The impact of different building materials on heating.
  • Examining and understanding different insulation materials.
  • Natural screening.
  • Clay plastering.
  • Rain water harvesting.
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Biodiversity

Biodiversity (Biological diversity) refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes. Its innumerable plants, animals and microbes physically and chemically unite the atmosphere (the mixture of gases around the Earth), geosphere (the solid part of the Earth) and hydrosphere (the Earth’s water, ice and water vapour) into one environmental system which makes it possible for millions of species, inlcuding people, to exist. At the same time, no other feature on Earth has been so dramatically influenced by man’s activities. By changing biodiversity, we affect human well-being and the well-being of every other living creature.

At our Demonstration Centre we look at and experience the practical matters of:

  • The different types and uses of soil.
  • How to plant food! Herbs, vegetables and fruit for the table.
  • Recycling and use of composting bins.
  • What is a bug hotel and how to build it.
  • Where and how to build raised beds and vertical gardens.
  • Visit the onsite reed bed water treatment facility.
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Other Topics

We are in the process of adding more sustainable living topics to the Susliving Demonstration Centre and Programme. These topics will provide a practical and hands on approach to sustainable living in areas such as:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Multimedia
  • The Economics of Sustainable Living

 

  • Students may specify particular themes or topics of interest, and request workshops based on their Susliving project ideas.
  • Susliving will also design and tailor specific workshops and short courses around many of the sustainable living themes. These short courses are ideal for Transition Year students.
  • Along with your visit to the Susliving Demonstration Centre we can include a visit to a Community Hall in Waterford, built from recycled materials, as a demonstration of real-world green building practices.
  • Susliving can also include a visit to a local community where sustainable living is an everyday choice and demonstrates practical biodiversity, green building and renewable energy techniques. One great example of such sustainability is their anaerobic digester which uses bacteria to provide low-cost energy and reduce carbon emissions.