The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has opened the UK’s first inner city green technology research centre, established by Kingston University with London South Bank University and City University London. The Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB) is a multi-million pound new facility, with teaching, research and demonstration facilities for low carbon technologies in the built environment.
Professor Sarah Sayce, Head of Surveying and Planning said; “The mayor was absolutely gobsmacked when he saw the kit they had up there. He said ‘we should have this in every home in London’. I replied that the equipment is very costly – and it’s our job to put the business case for it.”
Located on the roof of London South Bank University’s K2building, the Centre will be at the forefront of low carbon building design. The mayor saw wind turbines and the latest in solar panel designs. “He was also impressed by the Light Pipes”, said Sarah. “These are fibre optic cables which collect sunlight from the roof and can project it anywhere in the building.”
“This new Centre will boost the capital’s quest for low carbon and low energy design,” Mr Johnson said. “It is a welcome development in London’s efforts to minimise the emission of greenhouse gases; to adapt existing and new buildings to climate change; and to improve the environment in and around buildings to provide better health, comfort, security and productivity.”
Kingston is expected to have a set number of teaching and research hours at CEREB each week. Sarah believes any students interested in sustainable living will benefit from visiting the centre, including geographers, civil engineers and architects.
CEREB offers a unique opportunity to study low- and zero-carbon technologies and to demonstrate new practices and technologies such as smart meters and micro-generation of electricity. It will also work to show practising engineers what solutions work best and where.
The centre is the first of its kind to be located in an urban setting with dedicated space in an educational institution, providing opportunities to develop and implement sustainable and environmentally-friendly, city buildings. Research into alternative and less harmful energy resources has been widely researched to date but mainly in rural environments.
Director of CEREB, LSBU Professor Tony Day, says: “This Centre has been designed for different audiences – from school children to experienced engineers – to understand where energy is used in buildings, and which modern solutions work best. CEREB will bring the subject to life.”