Delivering the World's Smartest Net Zero Campus

The University of Birmingham is investing in the transformation of its campus towards net zero by creating the smartest energy campus and building management system globally. This will create a dynamic living laboratory environment allowing transformative approaches in energy generation, energy systems management, social behaviour and big data to be developed and deployed. It will link developments at our Edgbaston campus to the Tyseley Energy Park, which sits at the centre of clean energy plans for the City of Birmingham, and to the new University of Birmingham Campus in Dubai.

A drone image capturing Edgbaston Campus

The heart of these new developments is a new Energy Accelerator Building to be constructed at Edgbaston in 2023. The building will home the Birmingham Energy Institute, the campus living laboratory control room, provide a plug and play facility for new next generation energy technologies, and an energy system digital twin. Now is the opportunity to engage with the University to shape and co-create the functionality of the new Energy Accelerator Building, embedding collaborative research, innovation and education programmes. 

A Living Laboratory, Accelerating Energy Innovation and Deployment

Read our brochure [PDF 15MB]

A Platform to Accelerate the Net Zero Transition

Aerial view of Edgbaston Campus

The new £20m+ Energy Accelerator Building will deliver a building that transforms the University of Birmingham Edgbaston campus into a living laboratory for energy usage and incorporates the campus estate management and energy system control room.

 A digital twin and state-of-the-art sensor data capture system will allow insights into energy management at a scale which is unrivalled. It will be a building which itself will be a demonstrator, where, with our partners new energy technologies can be integrated, trialled, tested and commissioned.

The aim is to create an environment which is internationally leading for its ability to rapidly accelerate the development from technology to energy systems, through to digital systems. It will create a platform for understanding how people engage with a net zero transition, and provide insights into behaviours at a scale of a community of 50,000 staff and students.

This new campus facility will create the pipeline of developments which can then be translated to the industrial environment of our Energy Park in Tyseley, Birmingham, for business spinout, scaling up and deployment. In doing so, it compliments and provides a pipeline to the next level of pre-commercial scale-up supported by the City’s Energy Innovation Zone at Tyseley.

The facility aims to be unique in the UK for world-class research in consumer behaviour, sustainability,energy systems, and products through circular economy concepts, encompassing the entire product lifecycle from innovation and manufacture, through to reclamation and recycling.

Partner with us to realise this vision 

The development of the design of the Energy Accelerator Building is happening now, with a view that construction will commence in 2023. Delivery of ambitions on this scale are complex and necessitate multi-organisational collaboration, which is why the University of Birmingham is co-creating this opportunity with partners for mutual benefit.

With our partners, the Energy Accelerator Building will provide a platform to promote research and innovation, underpinning the education of a new generation of energy system engineers and scientists. The size of a small city, the living laboratory will be a test bed, demonstrating and validating the emerging new energy system technologies.

We are looking for partners to co-create this opportunity to:

  • Design facilities for mutual research and development benefit
  • Develop the test and learn capability of a new Energy Accelerator building
  • Co-design the living laboratory capability
  • Integrate state-of-the-art-technologies into the new building
  • Shape skills, education, and training programmes to create the next generation of energy systems specialists