The scheme, which provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures, aims to reduce emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, compared to a 2017 baseline, as set out in the 2021 Net Zero and Heat and Buildings strategies.
The University will use the funds to upgrade the Pavilion, the university’s main sports facility; and the Seacole building, which houses the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences and the Defence School of Healthcare Education. It is also investing over £450,000 as part of the project, taking the total to around £3.8 million.
Air source heat pumps, solar panels and LED lighting will be installed in both buildings to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. A variety of other energy efficiency measures will be installed, including energy efficient chillers in the Seacole building and insulation and a building energy management system in the Pavilion Leisure Centre.
John Plumridge, the Director of Estates and Facilities at Birmingham City University, said: “Driving sustainability is a vital part of Birmingham City University’s mission to transform the lives of our students – as well as the city and wider region. That’s why we’re delighted to be awarded this significant grant funding, as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation scheme”
“The funding will enable us to develop new, innovative and highly effective ways of reducing carbon emissions across our sports facilities and our Seacole Building, the home of our Health, Education and Life Sciences provision. It will form a key part of our wider plans to drive sustainability, net-zero and other green initiatives right across our campuses and facilities.”
The projects, which are due to be completed by March 2024, will support the University’s carbon reduction and net zero strategies – contributing an 8% reduction of carbon emissions across its entire estate. The University estimates that the investment will enable it to save more than £300,000 per year in utility costs.
The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is delivered by Salix Finance, a Department for Energy Security and Net Zero non-departmental public body.
Ian Rodger, the Director of Programmes at Salix, said: “This project will see the installation of a variety of measures which will contribute to reducing Birmingham City University’s carbon emissions. This will not only drive efficiencies and cut carbon but create buildings that are more comfortable to study and work in”
“We look forward to working with the university on this exciting project and partnering in the decarbonisation journey creating a healthier future for all.”
The announcement comes as a major boost to BCU’s sustainability and carbon zero initiatives, after it met a sector-wide target to reduce its carbon emissions by 43% between 2005-6 and 2020-21, underscoring its status as a leading institution for sustainability and environmental performance.