Active Buildings

The Active Building Centre is a centre of excellence working to accelerate the UK’s drive towards net-zero carbon by transforming the way buildings are powered and heated.

Buildings account for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

Our mission is to identify and integrate the best materials, design and equipment for building homes, workplaces and communities that actively combat climate change, rather than fuelling it.

Founded in 2018 as part of the UK Government’s Transforming Construction Challenge, the Active Building Centre sets the standard for the clean, efficient and climate-friendly communities of tomorrow by designing prototype buildings that act as proof of concept and a template for the construction industry, as well as by advising housebuilders and homeowners on new-builds and retrofitting. 

Our research promotes sustainable construction, shapes future living, improves building performance, alleviates fuel poverty and helps decarbonise the UK’s energy supply.

What are Active Buildings?

Active Buildings generate and store renewable electricity to meet their own needs and intelligently redistribute the surplus to other buildings and back into the grid. They are assets on the balance sheet of net zero.

Houses, blocks of flats, offices, schools, hospitals or warehouses can all be Active Buildings. They make use of a range of different technologies, such as air and ground-source heat pumps, solar and wind power, biomass, hydrogen and battery storage, as well as energy-efficient building design and fabric. 

These technologies are integrated into an intelligent system which allows the building to produce renewable electricity and calculate when to store or sell back excess energy.

Many of the individual technologies used by Active Buildings are already proven and widely available. What differentiates Active Buildings is the integration of technologies and the intelligent use of energy for the building use, associated vehicle use, and/or grid use.

Active Buildings ease the strain on energy infrastructure and will ultimately reduce demand, reducing the need for high-cost power stations by creating a network of millions of decentralised, hyperlocal, renewable energy sources. To homeowners they represent the houses of the future, offering self-sufficiency, improved quality of life and a tangible economic payback.

Learn more about Active Buildings

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