SPECIFIC’s Energy-Positive Active Classroom wins ‘Innovation Award’

The ‘Active Classroom’ built by Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC), has won the Innovation Award in The Construction Excellence Wales awards which celebrate the best of the construction industry in Wales.

Excellence in Construction award

Pictured from left: The presenter of the Award; Justin Canning, BIPV Co; Paul Jones, SPECIFIC; Ian Hewson, SolarPlants; Dan Crossland, SolarPlants; Joanna Morgan, SPECIFIC; Richard Lewis, SPECIFIC; Pete Longdon, Tata; Nigel Phillips, Kier; Tom Griffiths, SPECIFIC

 The Active Classroom at Swansea University’s Bay Campus generates, stores and releases its own solar energy and is a building for learning from, not just in. 

The Construction Excellence Wales awards are recognised across the built environment as the biggest and brightest celebration of best practice in Wales. This year, Swansea University’s SPECIFIC-IKC was shortlisted for four awards; Innovation Award, Integration & Collaborative Working Award, Sustainability Award and Young Achiever award (Tom Griffiths - Smart Systems & Integration Manager). The project was presented with the Innovation Award in a ceremony in Cardiff on 14 July.

‌‌Paul Jones is Technology Director at SPECIFIC.  He said: “We are thrilled that the Active classroom has been recognised as the winner of the Construction Excellence Wales Innovation Award.

Buildings are responsible for approximately half of the UK’s CO2 emissions and SPECIFIC’s ‘buildings as power stations concept’ offers a solution to this problem by creating buildings that generate, store and release their own energy.

By building the Active classroom, we have demonstrated this concept and provided a platform for new companies, such as BIPV Co, to showcase their new products on a real building. We’d like to thank all of our industry and academic partners who helped create the classroom and look forward to creating innovative and sustainable buildings in the future.”

About the Active Classroom:

Electricity is generated by a steel roof with integrated solar cells, supplied by SPECIFIC spin out company BIPVco. It is connected to two Aquion Energy saltwater batteries, which are being used in the UK for the first time and can store enough energy to power the building for two days.

The building also uses Tata Steel’s perforated steel cladding for generation of solar heat energy, which can be stored in a water-based system, and an electrically-heated floor coating that has been developed by SPECIFIC researchers.

The Active Classroom provides teaching space and a laboratory for Swansea University students, as well as a building-scale development facility for SPECIFIC and its industry partners.

Joanna Morgan, Building Integration Manager at SPECIFIC says “the scope for developing and learning from the Active Classroom project is tremendous. This encompasses the innovative design and construction methods used, the new technologies as well as the new systems for them to function in the most efficient way possible.”

All 18 regional winners of the Constructing Excellence Awards will be shortlisted for the National Finals which takes place on Friday 17th November 2017 at the Marriott, London. Industry-leading organisations will be recognised for their achievements and SPECIFIC will be pinning their hopes on The Active Classroom to win the National Innovation Award.

SPECIFIC is led by Swansea University and working with more than 50 partners from academia, industry and government to deliver its vision for buildings as power stations. Its Strategic Partners are Tata Steel, Akzo Nobel, NSG Pilkington Glass and Cardiff University, and it is part-funded by Innovate UK, EPSRC, and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

SPECIFIC Classroom, shortlisted for four awards