Championing the next generation of energy positive buildings, Tata Steel has welcomed the UK government’s £36 million funding to develop the new Active Building Centre at Swansea University, which will seek to remove barriers and accelerate market adoption of new solar-powered building design.

Funded by the UK government through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and UKRI and based in Swansea University, the Active Building Centre will be a national centre of excellence working with supply chains from energy and construction, including Tata Steel, and supported by ten universities: Swansea, Bath, Newcastle, Birmingham, Loughborough, UCL, Sheffield, Cardiff, Imperial College London and Nottingham.

The Active Building Centre’s vision is to transform the UK construction and energy sectors, through the deployment of Active Buildings powered by the sun, creating energy resilient communities, and significantly contributing to electric vehicle and decarbonisation targets.

The Active Building Centre’s building programme will include its own flagship building, the ‘living lab’, which will be located next to Swansea University’s Bay Campus. A portfolio of 300 further buildings will be developed UK-wide in close collaboration with developers and supply chains, to address different market sector needs.

Dr Martin Brunnock, Head of R&D Tata Steel UK said: “Tata Steel is delighted to support the Active Building Centre, we see it as a key component of our strategy to create sustainable construction solutions to revolutionise the way in which buildings are constructed and operated. Our long-term relationship with Swansea University, successful collaboration with SPECIFIC and role with this new flagship national centre enables Tata Steel to showcase its construction technologies and related products from its portfolio along with that of other large, small, medium and micro industrial partners.

“Having provided products and support in the past for the Active Office, the UK’s first energy positive office, and the Active Classroom, which has now been working successfully for 18 months – generating more than one and half times the energy it has consumed – the learning from both of these buildings will be key to help construct the new Active Building Centre and subsequent Active Buildings.

“The Active Building Centre is a national vehicle that enables buildings to be constructed and operated in a way that supports the national energy infrastructure, and our role in providing sustainable construction solutions is key element of that and something we very proud of.”