Turning Buildings into Power Stations: SPECIFIC’s Research at Swansea University

SPECIFIC’s researchers at Swansea University, under Professor Dave Worsley, have created the UK’s first energy positive classroom, which generates, stores, and releases its own solar energy. The electricity supply for this building is generated by a steel roof, with integrated solar cells, which is connected to two batteries powerful enough to provide energy to the building for two days. By using perforated steel cladding, and an electrically heated floor coating, SPECIFIC’s researchers have further ensured that this ‘Active Classroom’ generates maximum solar heat energy.

This concept puts Swansea at the forefront of world-leading innovations. With buildings accounting for around 40% of the UK’s energy consumption and 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions, SPECIFIC is solving this energy and climate crisis by radically changing how we design buildings. In addition to the classroom, SPECIFIC has also retrofitted an industrial warehouse and a new two-storey office with their building-intergrated technologies. These buildings capture energy from the sun and store it until it is required. The group is currently investigating the role of these buildings in our national energy and transport systems.

Ian Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK commented:

‘It’s difficult to overstate the potential of developing a building that powers itself. The concept could genuinely revolutionise not only the construction sector but completely change how we create and use energy.’

Find out more about the impact that SPECIFIC are making globally.

If you want to become part of our community, which is working to make the world a better place, apply for postgraduate study at Swansea University today.

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