LIVING LAB

The Active Building Centre team is currently design and developing our Living Lab Headquarters, 5 minutes from the centre’s current location in the Active Office on Swansea University’s Bay Campus. This new flagship building will be a three-storey structure on a prominent Gateway site at the beginning of the Fabian Way Innovation Corridor – one of the main access routes into Swansea from the East. 

The building, showcasing the Active Building concept, will provide a base for the Active Building Centre, catering for up to 100 staff in an open plan office space, and will include interchangeable trial areas to enable the demonstration and evaluation of new renewable energy technologies.  

In line with the Active Building principles, the roof will incorporate building integrated photovoltaic (PV) panels; and there will be battery storage, solar thermal collectors and thermal storage.  

Additional features include display screens presenting the building’s live and accumulated energy consumption and generation figures; PV shading devices on the south elevation; PV canopies within the car park; and 15no. electric vehicle (EV) charge points. 

The technical team at the Active Building Centre are working closely with the project delivery team, which consists of Gleeds as Project Managers; Powell Dobson Architects; AECOM as Structural Engineers, Building Services Engineers and Cost Consultants; and Swansea University Estates Department. Appointment of a Main Contractor through the Scape framework is imminent. 

A holistic design exercise is currently underway, combining the architecture of the building with the energy strategy, and balancing aesthetics with the proposed energy systems. Part of this process involves developing dynamic models for the building to assess its predicted energy consumption and generation capabilities. 

The current programme indicates a planning application submission in June 2019, with an anticipated construction start date of November 2019. If all goes to plan, the project will be complete by the end of 2020.