Buro Happold has received the coveted Passive Product of the Year award at the CIBSE Building Performance Awards 2013.
The winning entry was the Aerogel Solar Collector, conceptualised by Dr Mark Dowson from Buro Happold’s Sustainability and Building Physics team. The one of a kind product was successfully installed on a 1960s end of terrace house in Thamesmead South East London as part of the Retrofit for the Future competition in collaboration with Fraser Brown Mackenna Architects, Gallions Housing Association, Axis Europe, Martin Arnold Associates, Nuaire, Permarock and Xtralite.
The Aerogel Solar Collector is a flat plate solar air-heater designed to improve the efficiency of heat recovery systems in Passivhaus refurbishments. This prototype is the UK’s first solar air collector installation to incorporate translucent granular aerogel insulation in the cover.
Aerogel is a unique nano-porous translucent insulation material with the best insulating properties of any solid. It effectively blocks heat transfer by convection, conduction and long-wave thermal radiation. In addition, it is highly transparent to light and short wave solar radiation, making it an ideal material to incorporate into the cover of high performance solar collectors. Compared to conventional single or double glazed collectors the heat losses through an aerogel cover will be significantly reduced – providing higher operational efficiencies, particularly at low ambient temperatures during the peak heating season.
During the ceremony, the judges commented that “the winning product is a well-researched and novel solar collector delivering an important contribution to very energy efficient homes.”
Buro Happold and Fraser Brown MacKenna architects also achieved 2nd place and a high commendation in the highly contested “Refurbishment Project Award”.