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University of Birmingham Announces New Net-Zero Carbon Smart Building

University of Birmingham Announces New Net-Zero Carbon Smart Building
09 October 2023

The University of Birmingham has announced a £50 million investment into a new net-zero building which will significantly expand its energy research and education.

The scheme has been submitted for planning approval, with construction hopefully beginning in 2024. 


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Birmingham Energy Institute


The Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI), on the university’s Edgbaston campus, will contain a state of the art “living laboratory”, a national testbed for innovation in low-carbon energy systems. 

The site will also act as a new centre for industrial collaborations, in which digital sensor and analytics technologies will be combined across campuses in Birmingham and Dubai to test new, low-carbon approaches to energy generation and use.



Picture: a CGI showing the stairwell of the new Birmingham Energy Institute. Image Credit: Glancy Nicholls Architects and the University of Birmingham 


The building itself, designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects, will focus on delivering a low-carbon solution with a focus on low-carbon materials and framing solutions. The building is also smart-enabled to future proof it and provide research potential within the building.

The architects said that a key design principle was to increase research visibility, which is why bright and open workspaces sit at the heart of the project, helping to fuel seamless collaboration.

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the BEI, said: “This is a truly ambitious step towards a net zero-carbon society. We are working with local, regional, national and international partners to unlock the deployment of solutions that will accelerate the energy transition.

"This new investment will put us in a position to bring transformational change to the sector. We are excited to be working with both existing and new partners to develop and test new innovations both technical and non-technical on a scale that is not currently available anywhere else in the UK.”

Picture: a CGI showing the proposed exterior of the new Birmingham Energy Institute. Image Credit: Glancy Nicholls Architects and the University of Birmingham 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 October 2023


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