The Technology Centre will be located at Baglan Energy Park in Swansea Bay, a 180-acre business park.
The three-storey building will provide office space for start-up companies with a focus on innovation. It is being built next to the Canolfan Arloesi Bae Baglan Bay Innovation Centre.
It will be one of only a few net-positive buildings in the region, creating more energy than it produces and offsetting more carbon than it produces.
Neath Port Talbot Council has commissioned the new facility as part of its £58m ‘supporting innovation and low carbon growth’ programme. It will be part-funded by the £1.8bn regional investment project, the Swansea City Bay Deal. It will also receive support from the European Regional Development fund.
Morgan Sindall Construction is working with design consultants IBI Group and Hydrock for building to achieve an energy performance ratio of 0.998 – a 281% improvement over building regulations.
Described within the tender agreement as a ‘small power station’, surplus energy from the building’s solar panels and other renewable technologies will be converted into hydrogen at the nearby Hydrogen Centre, run by the University of South Wales, and used to fuel hydrogen vehicles.
Inside will be 2,500 square metres of office and laboratory space, as well as a reception and atrium on the first floor. There will also be a small integrated plant room and external transformer house.
The building will use eco construction materials, including specialised photovoltaic panels disguised as cladding along the exterior walls and roof. The design will also use the thermal mass of the exposed precast floor slabs to store and transfer heat from the building.
Morgan Sindall won the job through the Southwest Wales regional contractors framework.
Construction is scheduled to complete in late 2021.
Rob Williams, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “The Swansea Bay region is already a trailblazer in sustainable design, having established the UK’s first energy positive office just two years ago. We’re relishing the opportunity to continue this legacy as exemplar projects like this are vital if the construction industry is to reduce its carbon footprint. In collaboration with our project partners, we have worked to utilise as many eco-friendly materials as possible, and are looking forward to delivering a building which will fit the needs of both the local community, and the wider UK vision for a greener, cleaner future.”