The SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre is proud to announce that our flagship demonstrator building, the Active Classroom has been shortlisted for multiple awards. The classroom has been shortlisted in the Business Green Leader awards in the category of Innovation. It has also been shortlisted in the Constructing Excellence Wales awards in three different categories – Sustainability, Innovation and in a joint entry with one of the classroom funders Tata Steel, for the Collaborative Working award.
The Active Classroom demonstrates a truly innovative approach to designing and constructing buildings that significantly reduces the amount of energy used during both their construction and operation. This has been achieved by the unique academic and industrial collaboration approach adopted by SPECIFIC, which enables us to work with both new and existing companies to demonstrate their innovative products and technologies, whilst developing new design philosophies for buildings and incorporating our own technologies.
Constructed using 8 new building techniques and products used for the first time, the Active Classroom incorporates a building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roof and transpired solar air collectors (TSC) as building cladding. The TSC uses a fan to draw in warm air and heat the building, whilst the energy generated by the photovoltaic roof is either used at the time of collection or stored in new saltwater batteries in the plant room as needed. Novel resistive heated floor panels provide zoneable, adjustable heat when required. Targeted areas can be heated independently from the rest of the building using novel solutions such as heated floor tiles and any excess energy generated is used to charge our electric vehicles. New electrical and mechanical systems for the technology have also been designed by SPECIFIC engineers for the generate, store and release technologies to work as one system providing a holistic approach to providing power for buildings.
One of the SPECIFIC Technology Transfer Fellows whose hard work was instrumental in designing and installing the systems in the Active Classroom has also been shortlisted for a Constructing Excellence Wales award in the category of Young Achiever.
Tom Griffiths has taken initiative in the areas of construction and installation and been instrumental in developing new systems used in the building. This involved working with collaborating partners to develop new systems for new products that allow them to be integrated into the building. The innovative master system Tom designed to get the individual technologies to function as one system is also a smart system which can select and learn the most efficient way to operate. This system provides engineers and scientists with vital information and data needed for optimisation diagnostics. Tom’s natural ability and passion for engineering, coupled with experience gained working on a diverse range of tasks means he can turn his hand to any challenge thrown his way.
Congratulations to Tom and good luck for the final!