The CMS Innovation Hub in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire is a showcase for the latest energy saving products and devices for the building of homes and workplaces, produced by leading construction and supply firms.
Builders, architects, specifiers, public and private sector buyers and contractors, as well as homeowners, will be able to meet with manufacturers and will have access to the most advanced products available to reduce energy use.
The 10,000sq ft facility situated in the grounds of CMS Window Systems’ LanarkshireHQ is, itself a model of energy efficiency. Until recently it was a disused warehouse with the lowest energy efficiency, G-rating and facing demolition.
After being retrofitted with external “stone wool” insulation blocks, highly thermal efficient windows and an air source heat pump with an VRV Intelligent Heat Recovery System, which recovers heat from one area of the building and transfers it to another, it now has an A-rating for energy efficiency.
Among the companies represented at the centre, which was officially opened by Fergus Ewing , the Scottish Energy Minister on Friday (May 16), are Yale, Rockwool, Sealco Scotland, Daikin UK, Saint-Gobain, Sheerfame and Metal Technology.
Regulations due to come into force in October 2015 will require all new buildings to be more energy efficient, cutting average CO2 emissions by 21%. Non-domestic premises such as shops and offices will be expected to implement tougher regulations and their emissions will be cut by 43%.
Andy Kerr, managing director of CMS Window Systems and the driving force behind the Innovation Hub, said its aim was to ensure the construction industry in Scotland had access to the most advanced products and services to make the country a world leader in energy efficient building design and construction.
He said: “The Innovation Hub is showcasing an extensive range of energy-efficient products which, taken together, have helped turn a dilapidated G-rated structure, fit for demolition, into an A-rated building.
“We are far from finished and our aim is to achieve an A Plus rating, which means it will be carbon neutral.
“This facility is not just aimed at the construction industry. Homeowners will also have the opportunity to view and select products for their own homes that will help them to reduce energy use and to cut their bills.”
Mr Ewing said: “The Innovation Hub is the first of its kind in Scotland and it will showcase the most up-to-date, energy efficient building designs, renewables products and services from a range of prestigious suppliers.
“CMS Window Systems has a strong commitment to sustainability and this facility is in itself a model of energy efficiency.
“The Scottish Government is committed to moving toward a low carbon economy, this transition will be vital in addressing the real economic and social impacts of climate change in Scotland.”
Alongside the exhibition space there is a seminar room for up to 90 people as well as break-out meeting spaces. CMS Window Systems hopes the facility will be used by local schools, colleges and community organisations to discuss issues around climate change and sustainability.
Kevin Hill, Managing Director of Yale Door and Window Solutions said: “This is an important occasion in the Scottish construction industry and Yale is delighted to play its part.
“Sustainability and carbon reduction are both integral pledges made by Scottish Government and the new Innovation Hub is the ideal place for companies to educate on revolutionary new products on show that can help to achieve these targets.”
Andrew Corless, Director of Refurbishment and Regeneration for Rockwool said: “We have been working with CMS for some time, our sustainability aims and objectives are closely aligned. The hub represents real innovation and commitment in the future, we are thrilled to be playing our part. Our partnership with CMS is the cornerstone to our technical and innovation investment in Scotland which is hugely important.”
Derek Malcolm, managing director of Sealco, the main distributor of Yale products in Scotland, said: “Until now, there has been nowhere in Scotland to see all the latest developments in construction and glazing in one space.
“Construction has been badly affected by the recession and it’s important to look to new technologies and product development to drive construction and refurbishment as the market recovers.”
Gary Doxey, marketing manager for Sheerframe, said, “The Innovation Hub is a brilliant idea and we’re delighted to have a significant presence. It will allow the industry to see the latest technologies and understand the innovations that the industry has developed. It will also allow us to share best practice and show how products manufactured by different companies can integrate to give total project solutions; this is an area that we are proud to be at the forefront of.”
David Lacey, commercial director, heating and renewables at Daikin UK, said: “As a company dedicated to improving energy efficiency in building design and helping homeowners to reduce carbon footprint and fuel bills, we are glad that there is now a single place where manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and local authorities can come together to discuss these issues.”
The Scottish Government has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% on 1990 levels by 2020, compared with 38% for the UK as a whole, by 58% by 2027 and by 80% by 2050.
Under changes to building standards regulations due to come into force in October next year, improvements will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 21% when compared to the current levels.
Changes affecting non-domestic buildings will see greater improvements with an average reduction in emissions of around 43%.
The Scottish Government consulted on proposed changes at the start of 2013 and considered advice from the Sullivan Report expert panel.
By spring 2015 the Scottish Government is expected to publish draft regulations for consultationon standards of energy efficiency in private sector housing.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme introduced in January 2013 is funded by energy suppliers obligated under the scheme, who provide subsidies worth a total of £1.3billion a year to consumers to make their homes more energy efficient, the amount dependent on their individual circumstances efficiency improvements worth approximately GBP1.3bn annually.
The Green Deal offers advice to homeowners about affordable ways to improve energy efficiency in the home.
Following the introduction both schemes last year, around 517,000 UK households have been helped to improve energy efficiency in their homes, is more than half way to meeting government’s target of 1million homes by April 2015.