BP Solar Showcase, Birmingham- UK






The BP Solar Showcase was designed and built in just six weeks to coincide with the G8 Summit of World Leaders held in Birmingham in May 1998.





It was designed to demonstrate the best of British technology and, in particular, the potential of BP's solar technology. The building was conceived as a temporary 'pavilion' to be constructed in Birmingham in time for the G8 Summit and was accordingly used for various diplomatic functions.





The showcase incorporated BP's latest photovoltaic technology and was fully integrated with the local electricity network to allow export of power during the day and import at night.





The engineering of the showcase has helped shape, orientate and detail the shape of the building from the earliest stages of the design process. The form of the building is driven by the south-facing solar wall, which is curved and angled to optimise the absorption of solar energy. This wall doubles as the building's roof, providing shading to the east and west vertical walls.





The building has now been re-located to Baglan Bay, South Wales, as a permanent visitor centre for an energy park. A model also resides as a permanent display in the Science Museum. The project was awarded the UK Solar Award in 1999.







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