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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S016627/1
Title: The Active Building Centre
Principal Investigator: Worsley, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Wu, Professor J Jones, Mr P Allinson, Professor D
Green, Professor RJ Henwood, Professor K van Moorsel, Professor A
Giaouris, Dr D Lomas, Professor K Eames, Professor PC
Clark, Professor JA Gillott, Professor M Ding, Professor Y
Boukhanouf, Dr R Bell, Mrs J Patsios, Dr C
Khan, Dr A Wilson, Dr IAG Walls, Professor JM
Walker, Professor S Jones, Professor M Stratton, Professor G
Burholt, Professor V Mayfield, Professor M Kerrigan, Professor EC
Oreszczyn, Professor T Coley, Professor D Jenkins, Professor N
Strbac, Professor G Pidgeon, Professor NF Shah, Professor N
Coca, Professor D Walker, Professor I Morisset, Dr C
Densley Tingley, Dr D Allen, Dr S Rodrigues, Professor LT
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AKZO Nobel Arup Group Ltd Bere Architects
BiPVco HTA Design LLP NSG Group (UK)
PA Consulting Group Powell Dobson Siemens
Tata Steel Limited Welsh Government Wernick
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 03 September 2018 Ends: 07 May 2020 Value (£): 35,947,427
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Civil Engineering Materials
Energy Efficiency Energy Storage
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt Materials Characterisation
Solar Technology Structural Engineering
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Jul 2018 ISCF – Transforming Construction: Active Building Centre Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The ABC will be one of two hubs funded through the Transforming Construction Industrial Challenge. ABC aims to: 'revolutionise the way the UK designs, constructs and operates buildings by realising the potential for the integration of advanced offsite manufacturing with state of the art digital design. This will include the incorporation and integration of energy generation, storage, and release technologies to create Active Buildings which substantially reduce both the operational costs of buildings and their demand on the UK energy infrastructure'.

Our Vision is to enable energy resilient communities that are powered by the sun, share energy with transport and other buildings, whilst realising value for the UK by overcoming barriers and developing new business models with global potential.

The Mission - ABC is a national centre of excellence and will catalyse a revolution in smart buildings and energy sharing. ABC will bring together energy, construction, government and research to create a dynamic ecosystem that identifies barriers and creates solutions for scale up and deployment of buildings and communities that are Active. ABC will prove scale, enable an industry and create the conditions for market adoption. Critical to this will be clustered demonstration facilities on a variety of building typologies and pipeline of several thousand buildings which are being considered by a diverse array of assembled supporting companies and organisations.

We have already demonstrated that we can use buildings that are manufactured using the principles of car making to rapidly construct facilities that have facades that generate heat and electricity from the sun and include elements and new materials that store this energy (both electricity and heat) until we need it. Critically this enables buildings to be powered (electrically) and heated without any gas connection. In addition, our initial demonstrations have shown that the buildings can generate allot more energy than they use. Our 'Active Classroom' has generated over 1.6 times the energy used in its first full year and putting that in perspective the spare power would have driven one of our EVs for over 26,500 miles. Our aim then is to transform the way we think of buildings as consumers of power and requiring more infrastructure the more we build to a solution both to the requirements of occupancy and energy decarbonisation. One million homes would in essence require one large nuclear powerplant, however adoption of the new Active concept essentially delivers the homes and the powerplant at the same time. This is vitally important as we transition to electric cars which will be a major element of where excess power from buildings can be fed and with advanced new communication systems the fact that a car is stationary and by a building for almost 95% of its life we have potential for a huge mobile storage reserve.

Construction also creates positive economic conditions. To frame the opportunity in relation to Active Homes, in a recent report by the UK Housebuilders Federation, the economic case for increasing home building is compelling. Each additional 10,000 units would support 43,000 jobs, increase economic output by £1.36bn, lead to £120m in tax recovery, £43.2m in local infrastructure and an increase in local economic spending by £320m. 10,000 Active homes would also add renewable energy capacity of ca 50MW including storage via EVs, thermal stores and internal batteries. Clearly this is only part of the story since there will also be tremendous value from non-residential buildings that will be showcased for education, factory and commercial properties as part of the delivery programme for ABC and these in many cases can form energy hubs for existing communities of more traditional buildings.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk