Highly Commended at the British Construction Industry Awards

highly commended at awards

We are thrilled to announce that the Active Office has been ‘highly commended’ in its category, ‘Climate Resilience Project of the Year,’ at the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA). Congratulations to the winners, North Norfolk Council for their Coastal Management (Sandscaping) Scheme.

The BCIA are the most prestigious awards in the built environment sector. They aim to recognise and reward excellence in project delivery and, crucially, celebrate projects that deliver outcomes for society.

The Active Office certainly hit the above criteria, with a tight 8-month timescale for project delivery demanding a collaborative approach as well as an innovative modular design, built by Wernick. The Active Office has also been proven to reduce the energy consumption and associated carbon emissions (-33%) compared to a comparable office of its size – helping to reduce the environmental impact from buildings and achieve net zero by 2050.

The office was funded by Innovate UK, and is SPECIFIC’s latest demonstrator building, which aims to test and prove the ‘Active Buildings’ concept in a range of uses and challenge traditional construction methods. It combines a range of commercially available, innovative technologies that enable it to generate, store and release solar energy in one integrated system.

As well as testing the Active Buildings concept in an office environment, the aim was to create a repeatable design, integrating commercially available technologies for others to learn from, and build on. To support this, and encourage the uptake of more low carbon building design, SPECIFIC’s Design Manager, Joanna Clarke, has developed a Toolkit to share the principles and the learnings from the team.

The Active Office was sponsored by Cisco and SPECIFIC’s industrial partner, Tata Steel, who contributed technologies and products to enhance building’s monitoring and performance. Other novel technologies include BIPVco’s curved photovoltaic roof, which provides energy to the building, and Naked Energy’s photovoltaic thermal tubes which were installed vertically to provide heat as well as energy.

Ian Campbell, Executive Chair at Innovate UK at the time of construction, commented:

“It’s difficult to overstate the potential of developing a building that powers itself. The concept could revolutionise the construction sector and completely change how we create and use energy… Developing technologies like those [here] can play a strong role in the Government’s modern industrial strategy to create ‘clean growth’ and fulfil our mission to halve the emissions of new buildings by 2030”

SPECIFIC’s Director of Innovation, Justin Searle, added:

“We are so grateful to receive recognition from the British Construction Industry for the Active Office. We were up against some amazing projects that were also thinking innovatively to provide ‘climate resilient’ solutions for the future.

We’ve proven the Active Building concept works, the next stage for us is to continue to monitor and learn from the data to reduce carbon further, and of course, share what we’ve learned via Joanna Clarke’s toolkit and future collaborative projects.”


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