Photos | Five innovative onsite renewables projects

1 October 2018

As renewable energy technology continues to advance, CM takes a look at how it has been applied on five recent building projects.

Active Office, University of Swansea

Contractor: Wernick
Design: Specific (a UK innovation and knowledge centre, led by Swansea University)
Client: Swansea University
Project value: £850,000

The first UK office to generate more energy than it consumes was completed earlier this year at Swansea University.

It employs innovative technologies that allow the building to generate, store and release solar energy in one integrated system.

Features: A curved roof with integrated solar cells in a laminated photovoltaic panel; a photovoltaic thermal system on the south-facing wall; lithium ion batteries to store the electricity generated and a 2,000 litre water tank to store solar heat.

George Davies Centre, University of Leicester

Contractor: Willmott Dixon
Architect: Associated Architects
Client: University of Leicester
Project value: £42m

The University of Leicester’s new centre for medicine is the largest Passivhaus building in the UK.

Contractor Willmott Dixon, the M&E contractor, consultants and other parties have all stayed involved in the project with a three-year in-use monitoring and fine-tuning programme.

Features: A ground-air heat exchanger, which passes air from outside through a 1.6km-long network of pipes buried beneath the building. The air is heated (or cooled) to a temperature of 16°C – the temperature of the ground 2m beneath the surface.

Blinds, ventilation, lighting, heating and cooling are all controlled by the building automation system based on factors such as weather, internal temperatures, CO2 levels and occupancy.

One Carter Lane, London

Contractor: QOB Interiors
Architect: Studio Ben Allen
Client: Cundall
Project value: Undisclosed

Engineer Cundall’s One Carter Lane office in London combines worker wellbeing with sustainability. It was the first project in Europe to implement the WELL Building Standard, as well as achieving a BREEAM Excellent and SKA Gold rating.

Features: Variable volume air distribution controlled by CO2 sensors to ensure high air quality is maintained in high-density areas of the building. Water filters to bring mains water up to World Health Organisation (WHO) limits.

Natural materials and finishes specified to achieve low VOCs and toxic content. High reflectance, low openness factor blinds and recycled zero-phthalate floor finishes, living natural timber structures and a ventilated green biowall.

Bloomberg HQ, London

Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
Architect: Foster + Partners
Client: Bloomberg
Project value: £1bn

Broadcaster Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London was voted the world’s most sustainable office building. It achieved an Outstanding rating against the BREEAM sustainability assessment method, with a score of 98.5%.

Innovative power, lighting, water and ventilation systems all contributed to a 73% saving in water consumption and a 35% saving in energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions over a typical office building.

Features: Integrated ceiling panels combining heating, cooling, lighting and acoustic functions. Capture and treatment of roof rainwater, cooling tower blow-off and grey water to serve vacuum flush toilets.

Smart CO2 sensing controls to allow air to be distributed according to the number people occupying each zone. Onsite combined heat and power (CHP) generation centre.

Killynure Green, Carryduff

Contractor: Geda Construction
Architect: PDP London
Client: Choice Housing
Project value: Unknown

This social housing development is unlike any other in Northern Ireland, having been designed and built to meet Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The development was awarded best social housing project by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) in 2016.

Features: Superstructure that makes use of a highly insulated prefab timber system, topped with slanted roofs set at 29 degrees south to optimise conditions for rooftop solar collection.

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