M&E Sustainability chairman Jim O’Neil joined Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the official opening of a major new research facility at London South Bank University.
The creation of the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB) forms part of a major redevelopment of the South Bank campus, and has been undertaken in partnership with City and Kingston Universities.
In his opening address, Mr O’Neil reminded his audience that the existence of M&E Sustainability (CEREB’s only industry sponsor) underlined the key role that building services engineering contractors were playing in the delivery of a truly sustainable built environment.
“There is a very clear need for a broad range of new skills to be learned and new technologies to be developed,” said Mr O’Neil.
“The variety of sustainable solutions being showcased, and their accessibility to students, researchers and engineers, represent a resource of literally incalculable value to our sector, and to the wider construction industry.”
He added that he was particularly pleased that CEREB referred explicitly to efficient as well as to renewable energy.
“We need always to focus on the basics of good engineering, and on ensuring our buildings are fit for purpose – rather than always rushing off down the renewables route, whether or not this represents the most practical and cost-effective solution in the circumstances.”
CEREB – which has been designed for both on-site and distance-learning use – has been described as a unique teaching and demonstration facility for low-carbon technologies in the built environment.
It is located on the roof of the new K2 building, and provides a showcase for technologies including solar fibre optic lighting, solar panels, air handling units with phase-change materials and absorption cooling with scope for the future integration of a fuel cell.