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Boris Johnson opens first inner city green technology research centre

Posted Sunday 11 July 2010

Professor Sarah Sayce, far right, with Mayor Boris Johnson and partners from London South Bank University and City University, London.The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has opened the UK's first inner city green technology research centre, established in partnership by Kingston University, 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.

"At Kingston University we have longstanding research interests in the social, economic and behavioural-change aspects of sustainability and the built environment," Professor Sarah Sayce, Head of Surveying and Planning at Kingston, said. "CEREB will be an extremely useful laboratory for our staff and students, and its unique facilities will enable fruitful collaborations between the partner institutions."

Located on the roof of London South Bank University's brand new K2 building, the Centre will be at the forefront of low carbon building design with a key location in the centre of London. The Mayor inspected CEREB's wind turbines and the latest in solar panel designs. "He was also impressed by the Light Pipes," Professor Sayce explained. "These are fibre optic cables which collect sunlight from the roof and can project it anywhere in the building."

The new Centre would 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," he added.

Greater London has a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025 - from 44,000,000 tonnes a year down to 18,000,000 tonnes. 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 practicing 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.

CEREB is partly funded by the London Development Agency, the Higher Education Funding Council and M&E Sustainability.

Director of CEREB, London South Bank University Professor Tony Day, said: "Very few engineers, developers or planners know which technologies are suitable and practical to meet targets made by the government. This Centre will provide a hands-on experience of how low carbon technologies work in real buildings. It has been designed for a range of 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."

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