The Active Office was designed by SPECIFIC, a UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre led by Swansea University and constructed by offsite specialist Wernick Buildings.
The Active Office combines a range of innovative technologies that will enable it to generate, store and release solar energy in one integrated system, including:
- A curved roof with integrated solar cells – showing the flexible nature of the laminated photovoltaic panel;
- A Photovoltaic Thermal system on the south facing wall – which is capable of generating both heat and electricity from the sun in one system
- Lithium ion batteries to store the electricity generated and a 2,000 litre water tank to store solar heat
- Manufactured offsite – less construction waste, improved speed and build quality, and more dependable build program due to factory manufacture.
The ‘buildings as power stations’ concept has already been shown to work. Right next to the Active Office is the Active Classroom, the UK’s first energy-positive classroom.
The Active Office and Classroom will be linked together and able to share energy with each other and electric vehicles, demonstrating how the concept could be applied in an energy-resilient solar-powered community.
The Active Office was manufactured and delivered by offsite specialist Wernick Buildings.
The total program was just eight months, with installation of the building taking only three days.
Stuart Wilkie, Managing Director of Wernick Buildings, said: “We’re very proud to be involved in the Active Office project, which we hope will serve not only as a demonstration of the potential of modular construction as well as the technology used in the building.
“Thanks to excellent working relationships across the project, the team has not just delivered the UK’s first energy positive office, but an architecturally designed, high performance building on budget and to a challenging timescale.”
Kevin Bygate, chief operating officer of SPECIFIC, said: “Offices are enormous consumers of energy, so turning them energy-positive has the potential to slash fuel bills and dramatically reduce their carbon emissions.
“Turning our buildings into power stations is a concept that works, as the Active Classroom shows. This new building will enable us to get data and evidence on how it can be applied to an office, helping us refine the design further.”