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


We have been working with ABC at Springfield Meadows, our multi-award winning development of 25 Climate Positive homes near Oxford. ABC have worked with us on the Carbon footprinting of a typical house and they have also helping us solve the issue of PV generated electricity back to the grid through SEEN via smart control systems. It’s great to be working with an organisation who share our sustainability goals and we’re looking forward to working with the team on other projects in the future. 

Greencore Construction

We were delighted to partner with ABC on the delivery of a hatch modular 3B5P two-storey demonstrator home. It was a very open and collaborative experience and we received tremendous support from the team at ABC. We look forward to developing the partnership

Hatch Modular 

Joju Solar have been installing solar PV, battery storage and EV chargepoints across the ABC test site at Berkeley.  The battery storage project is the first installation of these batteries in the UK.  It is a pleasure to work with a group pioneering the use of green technology in innovative ways, and to have a means of partnership working that allows us to stretch the boundaries of what is technically possible.

JoJu Solar

We are proud to partner with ABC.  Not only do we share a compelling vision for the role of energy generation and storage in the built environment, but ABC have a very helpful and practical working style that supports the needs of innovators to flex their approach as insights emerge.  This has been especially true during Covid and the Energy Crisis as both have forced changes to the industry and timescales.


We started a project with ABC back in 2020 focused on low carbon technologies and leverage of renewables; we pitched the concept and ABC shared the vision. Working in partnership with them has been a rewarding experience – with both sides committed to the same sustainability objectives. This has resulted in a fruitful and warm relationship that we are excited to continue and develop going forward.


We have been working with Active Building Centre for the last 2 years delivering smart home monitoring equipment and cloud connectivity for the Innovative Housing Programme, from the tendering process right through to the delivery of equipment, the team at ABC have been very professional and well organised. It has been a pleasure to work with Alan and the team in the delivery of these projects and we very much hope to continue this work in the future.

Tyrrell Systems

It has been fantastic to be able to work in partnership with ABC on the unique, innovative renewable technology project at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. The scheme includes the implementation of new systems and technologies in a way that we hope will be a beacon to future developments. The innovations brought about by this partnership fit perfectly with the University’s aims to enhance its sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint by generating its own renewable power, and we very much hope to continue our successful relationship with ABC on many similarly cutting-edge projects in the future.

David Kieft, Group Chief Executive Officer, Raven Delta Group

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