Pilkington UK Limited is helping Swansea University to deliver the UK’s first net energy-positive commercial building. The company has recently contributed glazing and technical expertise to academics at the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) at Swansea University.
The Active Office, located on Swansea University’s new Bay Campus, is a prototype for net energy-positive commercial spaces and aims to generate more energy than it consumes over an annual cycle. A range of technologies has been utilised within the building to enable it to generate, store and release solar energy in a single, integrated system.
The Active Office, funded by Innovate UK, builds upon the principles developed with the Active Classroom – which is on the same site. The two buildings are able to share information and energy providing a small ecosystem for further demonstration of Active Technologies.
For the classroom, Pilkington supplied its Pilkington Sunplus™ BIPV glass, which features photovoltaic power-generation technology, turning the windows into an energy source for the building. The design also features low-emissivity, double-glazed aluminium-clad timber frame windows and doors, incorporating Pilkington energiKare™ Advantage glass, which help to reduce its energy use.
Pilkington energiKare™ Advantage is twice as energy-efficient as standard double glazing as it uses advanced dual coatings to reduce heat loss through windows and allows more heat from the sun to enter the building – this effect is known as solar gain. This improves the energy efficiency of the windows and subsequently helps to reduce the cost of heating bills.
Tony Smith, Business Development & Value Added Products Manager for Pilkington UK and Ireland, comments: “Thinking about how energy is used, generated and stored in the built environment in future is one of the biggest challenges the UK construction industry faces. We’re committed to -contributing to the effort by developing and delivering new advances in energy-efficient glazing technology.
“Forging strong links with academia so that there is a robust route for cutting-edge technology to feed into products available commercially is a key part of our ethos as a business, and projects like the Active Office and Active Classroom each play an important part in this process, demonstrating what can be achieved when the right combination of technologies, expertise and working partnerships is in place.”
The Active Classroom has so far seen plenty of success, having scooped the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Design Through Innovation award, in addition to the 2018 RICS Project of the Year, Wales award.
Pilkington United Kingdom Limited,
WA9 5 DZ
Phone: 01744 692000
Fax: 01744 692569
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