Students from University of Wales Trinity St David’s School of Architecture and Built Environment were treated to an in-depth tour of the construction process behind the UK’s first energy positive office building. The project, led by SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre at Swansea University, funded by Innovate UK and procured through the Fusion 21 modular buildings framework, is being manufactured offsite by Wernick Buildings.
The 40 students were initially taken on a tour of SPECIFIC’s Active Classroom in Swansea University’s Bay Campus, which is capable of generating, storing and releasing its own solar energy. The students were shown the innovative technologies being used as well as the energy saving features of the classroom. They were also shown the construction site for the new Active Office where groundworks are being undertaken. Once built, the Active Office with share energy and information with the adjacent Active Classroom using one smart, integrated system.
Joanna Clarke, Buildings Integration Manager at SPECIFIC said; “we were delighted to welcome students from Trinity St. David’s to the Active Classroom and Active Office site. Developing awareness and skills around innovative, energy-saving technologies is a vital part of our demonstrator programme – as these buildings prove the ‘buildings as power stations’ concept and help change the way energy efficient buildings of the future are designed, constructed and used.”
The group then visited Wernick Buildings’ specialist manufacturing facility only 12 miles from the site. The factory tour enabled the students to see the whole modular process, from design stage to component manufacture to module assembly. The off-site construction methods employed by the Wernick Group allow them to offer a wide range of sustainable building solutions for both the public and private sectors. Since the business was established in 1934 it has been owned and run by the Wernick family – the current Chairman (David Wernick) is the grandson of the founder.
The group was led by Wernick Buildings Key Account Manager and project lead Rob Townsend, and featured a presentation on modular construction by Wernick Buildings Deputy Managing Director Andy King. Trevor Franics, Senior Lecturer & Programme Director at the School of Architecture & Built Environment told us:
“The tour of the Active Classroom & the Wernick manufacturing facility was most informative. The students found it very helpful to see the Active Office through every aspect of the construction process; from seeing the foundations on site, to the units being made in the factory ready for installation. Whilst there will always be a need for traditional construction, well designed and built modular construction is key to successfully attaining many of the UK’s, current built environment challenges. We are grateful to Wernick & SPECIFIC for allowing us to learn more about how this innovative project is coming to fruition.”
[Written by Sarah Roberts, Wernick Group Marketing Team]