Centre for Alternative Technology

Britain's major centre for environmental inspiration and courses.


What do we do?

CAT is an education and visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. We cover all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.

Our facilities

Our site is a unique and valuable practical demonstration centre, a living laboratory with an enormous range of live examples of sustainable solutions.

CAT has the largest range of installed renewable systems anywhere. These include:

  • Photovoltaics
  • Solar thermal
  • A micro-grid
  • Off-grid and grid-connected systems
  • Biomass combined heat and power (CHP)
  • Hydro
  • Air source heat pumps
  • A community heat main
  • A range of small to medium wind turbines
  • We also have two reed bed systems, our own off-mains water supply, and extensive organic gardens.

In our day-to-day activities we:

  • Run a visitor centre which is open 7 days a week, with 7 acres of interactive displays.
  • Offer a free information service answering enquiries on all aspects of sustainable living.
  • Run a graduate school with a range of postgraduate degrees in environmental architecture and renewable energy.
  • Run residential and one-day courses for the general public, as well as more specialised courses for builders, engineers, electricians and plumbers.
  • Provide curriculum-based education to visiting schools, colleges and universities.
  • Host residential education trips for schools and colleges in our unique eco-cabins.
  • Carry out educational outreach work, including teacher training and school visits.
  • Publish books on key environmental issues – and their solutions.
  • Run a successful volunteer programmes for those that want to gain hands-on experience.
  • Have a growing network of supporter members who receive our quarterly magazine and an invite to our annual conference.
  • Provide an eco-shop and vegetarian restaurant on site. For those further afield, we also have a mail order service.

We also run or are involved with the following projects:

  • ZeroCarbonBritain – a series of research reports addressing scenarios for reducing the UK’s emissions to zero in 20 years.
  • Coed Gwern – 15 acres of sustainably managed woodland, which is home to a range of courses, as well as being monitored and managed for biodiversity.
  • Dyfi Biosphere – the only UNESCO Biosphere in Wales.

To find out more why not visit our centre, or call our information service.