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

National Composites Centre Grand Opening

Delegates from SPECIFIC and the Materials Academy were invited to attend the opening of Phase II of the National Composites Centre (NCC)

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SPECIFIC Research Furthers Understanding of Perovskite Solar Cells

A new technique developed here at SPECIFIC has helped to improve understanding of the chemical changes that occur in perovskite solar cells during heat treatment

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BBC Radio Wales Science Café Explores Precious Metals

From building cars to generating power, research in materials science has driven technological advancements. Adam Walton from the BBC Radio Wales Science Café investigates…

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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