In his opening address to over 100 invited delegates from across the green and sustainable technology sectors, Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton, said:
We are delighted to be playing such a significant role in the future of a technology centre that will be at the heart of issues including sustainable construction, climate change solutions and research into wastes management and resource efficiency.
Professor Nick Petford
Work undertaken by the University and its partners in the development of The iCon over the last several years highlights the importance of sustainable construction to the County and the centre leads by example.
The iCon Centre is already a leader in energy efficiency and has achieved an ‘excellent’ rating from BREEAM (the leading international environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings). It uses renewable energy and incorporates a number of innovative features which vastly reduce energy expended on heating and air conditioning.
As a result the building has the lowest CO2 emissions of any commercial building in the UK emitting just 12.2kg/co2/m2 per year. Constructed with timber from a sustainable forest which uses six times less energy to produce than steel. It will also become home to up to 55 new and early stage companies in the environmental and green technologies sector.
A consortium of Northants and East Midlands regional partners worked together to fund The iCon, including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, and the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC). Daventry District Council and Northamptonshire County Council donated land for the project.