Buildings as power stations

Innovation | Education | Collaboration

We develop functional coatings that will transform the roofs and walls of buildings into surfaces that generate, store and release energy.

SPECIFIC is an academic and industrial consortium led by Swansea University with Tata Steel, NSG Pilkington and BASF as strategic partners. At its heart is the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, which is funded by the EPSRC, Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board) and the Welsh Government.

Swansea University
NSG Group

Innovate UK
Welsh Government


Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), which are factory applied to the roof sheeting, generate electricity from solar energy. Heat is supplied by Solar Air Collector on south-facing walls, which draws warm air into the building.


Electricity generated by the photovoltaics is stored in batteries. Warm air from the Solar Air Collector can be stored from day-to-night and summer-to-winter in a tank supplying the heating system.


Energy generated by the building is released throughout via heating, lighting, electrical equipment and water use. Large area heating can be provided by a coating applied to floor tiles, walls and other surfaces.

Water Purification

Rainfall on the roof passes over a photoactive titanium dioxide-coated metal roof sheeting, which chemically breaks down organic contaminants. The water is collected, passed through a filter and stored for use in the building.

Recent News

BBC Radio Wales Science Café

Dr Trystan Watson gave a lecture at the national Eisteddofod on Buildings as Powerstations, talking about the research and development carried out at SPECIFIC.

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SWMA Win IOM3 Society of the Year Award

Representatives from Tata and Swansea University collected a prestigious award on behalf of the South Wales Materials Association (SWMA) from the Institute of Materials at the Premier Awards Event in London in July this year.

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What SPECIFIC means to industrial partners

Representatives from all levels of industry share their views on SPECIFIC and how it benefits their organisation

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Baglan Bay Innovation Centre,
Central Avenue
Port Talbot,
SA12 7AX.

Michelle Roberts
T: +44 (0)1792 606867
E: info-specific@swansea.ac.uk