Energy Systems Catapult has acquired “key parts” of the building consultant, Active Building Centre (ABC), so as to modernise construction with lower-carbon buildings that actively manage, store and share energy.
According to the not-for-profit, ‘Active Buildings’ are comparable to a mini power station; as well as handling their energy, feeding back any surplus to the grid, these buildings ‘free-up’ energy by reducing their own demand and connecting with local renewable energy generators.
Launched in 2019 under the Government’s Transforming Construction Challenge, the ABC is said to have partnered with more than 100 real world schemes with a combined value estimated at £300 million.
Its integration will see Catapult carry on the ABC’s projects, including developing the ABC Blueprint – a guide to achieving net zero construction for non-domestic buildings.
Catapult will also maintain and develop the ABC’s “strong links” with Wales by exploring the next phase of the Cross Hands East project to build low-carbon offices in Carmarthenshire and acting as technical advisor to the Welsh Government’s Local Area Energy Planning programme.
“Energy Systems Catapult exists to accelerate innovation and transform the UK energy system towards Net Zero,” said Energy Systems Catapult CEO, Guy Newey.
“And perhaps the hardest challenge we face is how to decarbonise buildings.
“So we are excited to bring expertise, insights and experience from the Active Building Centre into the Catapult fold – boosting our efforts to drive world-leading Net Zero innovation across buildings and sites.”
In total, nine ABC employees will move to Catapult, whilst its Berkeley site will be retained by SGS College in Gloucestershire and made available for future research by the industry.
“There is a real need to better link the buildings and energy sectors around innovation,” said ABC’s CEO, Dan Cook.
“The ABC team has built up great experience embedding active energy systems in buildings in real world projects over the past four years.
“Siting this expertise within Energy Systems Catapult for the future with its strength on data, modelling and working with energy network providers and innovators will help accelerate innovation and the delivery of cleaner, cheaper and greener buildings”.
As an entity, ABC RTO will cease to exist from this summer.