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[ Green: Light ] ‘London lab’ tackles the urban renewables knowledge gap


Although some renewable technologies have been available for years, we still don’t know enough about how effective they are in urban environments. To find out more about this, CEREB (the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings) research and teaching facility opened in summer 2010. CEREB cost £3m and is partly funded by the ECA and HVCA, which have been working together on promoting and explaining sustainability opportunities for engineering contractors for many years. Sponsorship from the ECA and HVCA partly supported the development of CEREB’s top floor building, and the ongoing research which aims to troubleshoot the practical problems


of installing and maintaining renewable technologies. CEREB was designed to showcase various


renewable and low carbon technologies, but also to produce practical working information of use to contractors, academics and others. The building itself, designed by Grimshaw Architects, showcases thermal massing, solar shading, ground source heating and cooling, energy efficient lighting, fibre optics, PV and solar thermal systems. There are also plans to study fuel cells. CEREB sits on top of the eight-storey


K2 building that forms the centrepiece of London South Bank University’s campus redevelopment project. The Centre co- ordinates energy use in the rest of the building,


and it is doing a good job: K2 requires less than half the CO2


emissions than would be


required to meet the basic requirements of the 2006 Building Regulations. CEREB’s director, Professor Tony Day, believes the main thrust of research should be focused on getting renewables to work where they can have the biggest impact – in town. ‘There is still a lot of theoretical thinking out there and much of what we know is based on applying technologies in an ideal environment,’ he says. ‘The critical task now is to see if they can be applied successfully in cities, and which are the right solutions for each situation.’ n To find out more, visit the CEREB website at www.CEREB.org.uk


September 2011 ECA Today 19


SHUTTERSTOCK


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