Following a visit to Swansea Bay Campus by Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, the government has announced a £800,000 investment in Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre.
The funding, delivered by Innovate UK, will be used to construct the UK’s first energy positive Active Office, capable of generating more energy than it uses.
The building will be manufactured using cutting edge offsite manufacturing techniques and will include a number of steel elements. It will also incorporate innovative energy harvest, storage and release technologies. The building will be completed by April 2018 and will be occupied immediately by up to 40 members of staff.
SPECIFIC is led by Swansea University and works with more than 50 partners from academia, industry and government to deliver its vision for buildings as power stations that generate, store and release solar energy.
The Active Office will be linked to the Active Classroom, an existing space which provides teaching space and a laboratory for Swansea University students, as well as a building-scale development facility for SPECIFIC and its industry partners.
Professor Richard Davies, Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, said: “It is exciting to see SPECIFIC’s innovative ‘buildings as power stations’ concept becoming a practical reality. The Active Office at our magnificent Bay Campus follows closely on the heels of the ground-breaking Active Classroom. As well as demonstrating what is now possible off the grid, the new building will share energy with the Active Classroom, showing how buildings can work together to create energy resilient communities.”