Legislation is driving the low and zero carbon agenda across all sectors and there is a legally binding target for 15% of UK energy to come from renewables by 2020.
Buildings account for around 40% of all CO2 emissions and any carbon reduction strategy has to address this in order to deliver real change.
Funded by Tata Steel, the Low Carbon Research Institute(LCRI) and Welsh Assembly Government, the Sustainable Building Envelope’s (SBEC) focus is on accelerating the development of low and zero carbon solutions for the built environment using steel in combination with other materials. This will involve working closely with other Welsh technology companies and developing supply chains for the installation and maintenance of any solutions that emerge.
Based at Tata Steel’s Shotton site in North Wales and led by the LCRI, SBEC operates out of a specially refurbished building designed to act as a test rig and proving ground for new technologies, demonstrating them in use.
SBEC’s aim is to create a construction process which will enable the façade of buildings, both roof and walls, to be transformed from a passive energy conservation role to an active energy generation, storage, dissipation and management function.
This will be delivered through transpired solar collectors (TSC) and photovoltaics (PV). SBEC will also investigate and deploy energy generation technologies to maximise the synergy benefits associated with co-generation.
The focus here is on building integrated thermal roof and floor decking systems based on composite construction technology using steel either with insulation materials or concrete.
Closely linked to energy storage solutions, the focus here is on technologies that are suitable for energy dissipation and release within the building.
SBEC has been created to accelerate the development of low and zero carbon solutions for the built environment. The solutions need to be practical and cost effective for the market and work in new build and retrofit applications.
Specific outputs will include:
- Producing design and manufacturing specifications of systems to deliver sector specific performance
- Developing software tools to estimate, predict and support performance of systems and integrated solutions
- Building prototype models to test at sub assembly level where appropriate
- Constructing exemplar buildings as proof of performance with selected clients
- Producing performance and cost/benefit data for systems and solutions
- Articulating the value proposition of systems and solutions
- Obtaining systems approvals and recognition for incentives/subsidies for renewable technologies as appropriate