Birmingham University, Innovation Gateway embark on sustainability drive
The University of Birmingham’s 30-year plan from 1990 to 2020 to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent and to become more sustainable was achieved five years early in 2015.
The university is now embarking on a new commitment with Innovation Gateway, an alliance that works towards reducing cost and environmental impacts of buildings, to strengthen sustainability in its main Edgbaston Campus in Birmingham and its new Dubai Campus.
This partnership joins other industry leaders such as Tesco, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Heathrow Airport, Nottingham City Council, and more, in efforts to deploy sustainable solutions in their spaces.
The partnership is part of UoB’s £1 billion capital campus transformation initiative and will kick-start breakthrough innovations from various industry sectors, across its over 200 buildings in the next 10 years.
In particular, UoB plans to develop a smart campus in Dubai complete with leading-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
UoB Director of Estates Trevor Payne said the partnership will be focussed on identifying and implementing “innovative and smart technologies into [the] new Dubai Campus.” The Dubai campus is due to open in September 2021 for enrolment.
Through this partnership, the university aims to deliver a world-class user experience to its students and faculty members to enhance the learning and teaching journeys. The progress and results will be documented and shared through Innovation Gateway, in hopes to inspire more innovation in sustainability.
As for the main Edgbaston Campus in Birmingham, UoB is “looking to collaborate with other partners in the group to reduce the operational costs and environmental impacts of [the] buildings.”
The partnership effort will complement UoB’s existing energy conservation efforts in the Edgbaston campus that spans 230 acres.
UoB estates are already furnished with the installation of digital totems with a new digital campus map, improving wayfinding, navigation, and information across the estate; and implementing Pavegen that generates renewable energy as users walk across its kinetic paving.
Innovation Gateway Partnership Director Henry Majed said he was impressed with UoB’s ambition and the progress it has made so far.
“I’m excited to see this in action through the ground-breaking new Dubai Campus, and the new perspectives this will bring to the group,” he added.
So far, Innovation Gateway has sourced more than 600 targeted innovations from around the world to address sustainability challenges.
Partners with Innovation Gateway have identified savings to the tune of millions of pounds annually and achieved substantial reductions in carbon emissions through respective partnerships.