Funding for the Active Building Centre will aim to remove barriers and accelerate the market adoption of new solar power building design. The leading consortium at Swansea University is working on new building materials and coatings that generate electricity from light and heat, which can then be used to power homes, hospitals and schools or can be sold back to the National Grid. The Goal being for the materials to replace conventional walls, roofs and windows, generating electricity that can be stored and released by a specific operating system. The Government is enthusiastic about this research program because it aims to half the energy use of new builds by 2030.
The Active Building Centre program will include a flagship building ‘The Living Lab’ to be situated next to Swansea University’s Bay Campus. A further 300 buildings are to be developed UK wide with close consultation with developers and supply chains in order to address different market sector needs.
The funding was made through the ‘Transforming Construction’ challenge of the Government Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is providing the funding for the new centre. It is felt that we need to explore the more efficient ways of generating, conserving and using power and energy. Active Buildings which incorporate solar generations and storage technologies for electric and heat can help achieve this. The Active Build Centre will work to remove barriers to the large scale adoption of active buildings on new developments throughout the country.
Swansea University and the innovative companies working with it are world leaders in clean energy and the UK Government is backing industries of the future that will deliver jobs and opportunities accross Wales.
The Secretary of State Gregg Clark says the centre has the potential to transform how buildings use energy. The £36m investment shows the UK continue to lead the way in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy. The world leading science and innovative section is at the heart of our modern industrial strategy and have an ambitious target for investment in research and development to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
The Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coating (SPECIFIC) led by Swansea University with Tata Steel as the main industrial partner launched its pilot manufacturing facility in 2012.