The Science Cities Research Alliance has been engaged by a number of private companies working in the fields of Advanced Materials, Energy Futures and Translational Medicine. Andy Oram, a Sustainable Materials Advisor with EH Smith, shared his company’s experience of partnering with SCRA.
Tell us a little about EH Smith Builders Merchants
We’re an award winning, independent builders and timber merchants based in Sutton Coldfield, supplying and installing a range of renewable energy technologies. We’re one of the UK's largest builders merchants and have been awarded the Sustainability Award at the National Builders' Merchants Awards in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
What was the project Warwick collaborated on? What was catalyst for requesting Warwick’s expertise on the project?
The company embarked on a collaborative project with Warwick’s Science City Research Alliance in February 2015 to transfer low carbon knowledge to a wider audience. We were keen to evaluate the actual performance of a range of solar photovoltaic panels and we made use of the state-of-the-art solar energy evaluation and testing facilities at Warwick.
What has the partnership with Warwick achieved for EH Smith?
We teamed up with Costa Coffee in May 2015 to supply solar roof panels for the country’s first “zero energy” coffee shop in Telford. EH Smith provided all the photovoltaic panels for the roof of the building, which also contains a host of other eco-friendly technologies. As a company, we’ve been promoting zero carbon construction for nearly a decade. It is great to see large multinational companies such as Costa Coffee buying into this message and doing what they can to reduce their environmental impact through the efficient use of buildings.
What has the partnership with Warwick achieved for Filta Group? What can an academic partnership offer businesses?
The relationship with Science City has been of great help in supporting our business and delivering the best low carbon technology options for our customers. I hope that our increased understanding of solar technology through our relationship with the University of Warwick will enable us to support future projects with other companies who can see the financial and ethical benefits of achieving zero carbon status.