We joined a small gathering of design and sustainability professionals last night to hear Tim Smit talk at the University of Ulster, Belfast. Tim is the man behind Cornwall’s Eden Project and always provides an insightful and entertaining view of the world. From his early academic career as a geologist, through international success in the music industry, and on to converging architecture with plant-life, his straight-talking generosity of spirit make for good company. Everyone had a great evening.
Our interest in Tim and the Eden Project started many years ago. Around the time I first got involved in the solar industry, Tim had just commissioned one of the most striking examples of BIPV in the world, alongside Solarcentury. The Core is completely unique, and integrates architectural solar glazing with modular solar in a full 360 degree array. The design complexity is staggering and demonstrates how progressive architecture and design can future-proof buildings with style, elegance and beauty. This was one of the major projects that caught folks imagination at a time when energy costs were lower, and solar costs were higher than today.
It’s also worth noting this system has been operating for nearly a decade… and still looks ahead of it’s time today.
Image courtesy of Solarcentury
Of course, the University of Ulster has it’s own example BIPV, installed at the Jordanstown campus around the same time.