Devondale Electrical Wholesalers has been working with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in the creation of a new training and education centre.
Sited on the Exmouth Road near Aylesbeare, the log cabin is an impressive, sustainable building made from trees felled at a nearby reserve.
It was the vision of East Devon Nature Reserve Warden Toby Taylor, who has been working to turn the concept into a reality since 2012.
The building offers accommodation for self-funded RSPB volunteers who stay for between 6 to 15 months, saving money for the charity which previously housed them in a rented cottage. Adjoining the accommodation is a training area and meeting room.
This is an environmentally friendly site, in keeping with the ethos of the RSPB. The site is heated using a biomass boiler and much of the electrical supply comes via solar panels. Water for flushing and washing machines is provided by a 4,800-litre rainwater harvesting tank.
“Devondale worked hard to source products that matched the vision for the cabin at the most competitive prices, as Toby and his team were on a very tight budget.”
During the tender process for electrical supply, Devondale came out on top after visiting the site and offering a competitive design service and price package to provide sockets, cabling, and interior and exterior lighting including low energy LED lighting. Devondale worked alongside local electrician Lewis Voss.
“I spoke to electricians early on, and Lewis was the one who really grasped the concept,” said Toby. “I contacted Devondale as soon as I got the go-ahead, and was delighted to accept their tender – after consultation they came up with good product options within the budget.”
The project included unusual LED strip lighting running up either side of the beams in the cabin’s mezzanine meeting room. Sockets had to be wired into the beams, a challenging specification that Lewis was able to achieve.
Devondale Account Manager Kevin Coles, who has been involved with the project since the beginning, said: “Devondale worked hard to source products that matched the vision for the cabin at the most competitive prices, as Toby and his team were on a very tight budget.
“For example, the preferred light fittings were very high specification, but by consulting closely with manufacturers we were able to keep within the budget.”