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The Welsh government declared a climate emergency in 2019, prompting the Neath Port Talbot Council to develop The Neath Port Talbot Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy (DARE). The goal of the program is to maximize the economic, social, health and environmental benefits of decarbonization by focusing on renewable energy.
In response, the Bay Technology Centre’s sustainability goals reflected those of the DARE Strategy, creating a unique challenge as the design needed to facilitate a building that not only produces zero greenhouse gas emissions, but produces enough energy to cover its own operations, while accommodating the process of converting excess energy into hydrogen at the nearby Hydrogen Centre. In addition, Neath Port Talbot Council required that the building be designed with consideration for future expansion should the opportunity arise.
The three-story, 2,500-square-meter building delivers on the conceptual practice of the building as a power station. In collaboration with Morgan Sindall Construction, Hydrock, The Urbanists and Neath Port Talbot Council, the building’s design and construction leveraged net-zero design techniques and technologies to create Wales’ first energy-positive commercial building, generating more energy than it needs.
Notably, the use of parametric modeling informed the location, building orientation and ecological constraints of the area so that the team could create a design that geographically optimizes the building’s renewable technologies. The building’s passive design eliminates the need for a traditional heating system which significantly reduces the carbon impact of the project’s lifecycle. LED lighting and a Building Integration Solar Thermal system that uses solar power to provide the building’s warmth are just a few of the technologies contributing to its sustainable performance. The façade of the building incorporates photovoltaic panels, providing a clean source of energy and representing the project’s dedication to integrating renewable energy solutions to reduce its overall energy usage and carbon output.
The building’s sustainable impact stretches beyond its walls, as the excess energy produced by the building is converted into hydrogen by the Hydrogen Centre to be used for hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
The Centre’s flexible design and location within Baglan Energy Park make it a desirable space for sustainable, innovative businesses to call home, with room to accommodate 35 enterprises.
The Bay Technology Centre acts as a blueprint for sustainable modern office and laboratory space with an energy performance that exceeds building regulations by 281%. Designed as a scalable, net zero-carbon, self-sufficient building that generates, accumulates and converts energy, it acts as a proof of concept for future building development with an unheard-of 100 percent score for Energy Credit 01 (ENE01). Our holistic approach to design and construction focused on collaborative tools that resulted in real-time savings through reduced design and construction time.
Located in the middle of the town’s Energy Centre, it offers office and laboratory space to start-ups and established businesses that can be inspired by the building’s approach to long-term sustainability.