Active Buildings at Futurebuild optimising energy reduction and interaction with energy infrastructure

Active Buildings at Futurebuild optimising energy reduction and interaction with energy infrastructure


By Ahsan Khan, Director of Research and Innovation

The Active Building Centre aims to establish a unified framework by which energy consumption in new-buildings is reduced by 50% and the energy consumption of the existing stock is reduced, resulting in lower levels of carbon emissions and reduced network stress.

Fabric first and energy reduction measures are the obvious starting point, but these approaches alone negate the potential of buildings to contribute to the wider energy infrastructure and the increase in renewables which deliver intermittent energy.

The Active Building Framework seeks to unify these opportunities so that buildings are not only optimised for energy reduction but also interact with the energy infrastructure in a beneficial manner.


Active Buildings align energy infrastructure

Active Building Centre’s aim within the Transforming Construction Challenge is to design pathways to reduce energy consumption of buildings.

The Active Building Centre bridges the gap between best practice design approaches, low energy zero carbon design and optimisation of energy storage and generation integration with the energy infrastructure.

We are looking to align the entire energy infrastructure. We are looking at ways to ensure that investments in renewables balance usage and storage of energy to best support the energy infrastructure.


Active Building Centre Innovation Lounge

At Futurebuild visitors to the Active Building Centre in the Innovation Lounge can find out more about the work we are doing with our partners.

We will be talking about how we are looking to scale-up and provide consistency across the construction industry so everyone can do it.

Futurebuild provides an opportunity for visitors to discover how our partners are creating energy resilient communities, and discover how occupants, prosumers and consumers can be part of the journey with financial and ecological rewards.

And importantly, how we can get energy infrastructure and services bridging across the construction and energy sectors with the same goal.


Ahsan Khan at Futurebuild

Active Buildings: optimising energy reduction and interaction with energy infrastructure

05-Mar-2020 10:45 – 12:00 Energy Theatre

Chair Ahsan Khan, Active Building Centre


Active Building Centre session panel

The need for smart enablement of buildings, Richard Reid, Technical Program Manager – Google

Energy resilient communities and sustainable development, Chris Brown, Executive Chair – Igloo Regeneration

Business models relating to Active Buildings, Tom Elliott, Business Modelling Consultant – Energy Systems Catapult

Reduction of energy consumption through design and manufacture, Dr Christoph Mazur, Energy, Infrastructure & Services Manager – Engie


About Ahsan Khan

Ahsan’s experience in applied and collaborative R&D spans industry and academia, from start-ups to global businesses. With his architectural technologist background, Ahsan worked in the volumetric modular manufacturing sector before joining Tata Steel Research Development and Technology where he investigated thermal performance improvements of the built environment and developed a drive for innovation leading to several patents and innovative applications of building envelope technology.

During his time at Sustainable Building Envelope Centre (SBEC) Ahsan led the development of inter-seasonal thermal storage technologies, before moving into business development in HE where he was instrumental in increasing research income with a research portfolio of approx. £17m. He led the development of a flagship innovation centre focusing on Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research, raising funding to accelerate multi-disciplinary research into city-scale infrastructure research.

Ahsan joined Swansea University to establish the Active Building Centre scope of work, the associated research programme, and shape the centre’s activities and strategic direction.
His work and strategic leadership has spurred on the development of software tools to automate the assessment and feasibility of renewable energy systems and championed an intelligence-led approach to the deployment of low/zero carbon products and systems to target the retrofit sector.

Ahsan is currently the Active Building Centre’s Director of Research and Innovation steering the ongoing development of the research and innovation strategy spanning 10 university partners with a budget of £8m aligned to the overall delivery programme of the Active Building Centre.