Specialist contractor Corus Colors has joined forces with the Low Carbon Research Institute and Welsh Assembly Government, to invest £6 million into the creation of a Sustainable Building Envelope Centre in Shotton, Deeside.
This centre of excellence will accelerate the development of low and zero carbon solutions for the built environment using steel in combination with other materials.
SBEC will be a showcase for sustainable products and will be used to test and monitor new integrated heating, energy and ventilation systems on the fabric of the building.
An existing building on the Shotton site is being refurbished to provide a showcase for the centre and act as a test rig and demonstration areas for new technologies.
The aim is to create a construction process which will enable the façade of buildings - both roof and walls - to be transformed from a passive energy conservation role to an active energy generation, storage and management function.
Corus business development director Kevin Bygate said: “Given the Welsh Assembly Government’s ambition to ensure all new buildings in Wales are zero carbon by 2011, there is a huge amount of focus on developing new technologies which can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of buildings - and that is what we are hoping to achieve from the Sustainable Building Envelope Centre.”
Once the centre is completed in October, a team of 18 people drawn from Corus, LCRI, Welsh School of Architecture and other industry specialists will be involved in the design, modelling, prototyping, testing and monitoring of a suite of heating and energy solutions based on photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies.
Mr Bygate added: “Our vision is to functionalise the roofs and walls of buildings and transform these to become energy generators.”