Investors: MMC Ventures
Total VC investment: £1.1m
Almost half of all CO2 emissions globally are produced by the built environment. In the EU, heating and cooling accounts for 40% of these emissions. As efforts to reduce carbon footprints increase, natural and low-energy ventilation is a growing niche within the £1.4bn UK HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) market, driven by energy consumption legislation, building regulations and cost pressures.
Breathing Buildings provides exactly such ventilation, with its patent-pending, controlled natural ventilation system capable of reducing the overall energy consumption of buildings by 50% compared with those using conventional ventilation systems.
Breathing Buildings (formerly known as E-Stack) was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2008 following a BP-funded research programme at the University's BP Institute. Since then the company has received funding from UK VC MMC Ventures and BP Alternative Energy Investments and they have delivered more than 30 projects in education and retail properties.
The system works by combining the principles of natural mixing ventilation in winter and natural upward displacement ventilation in summer - view a handy diagram.
The value and potential of the innovation has been recognised by a number of awards insce its founded including the Rushlight Energy Minimisation Award, Interbuild BSF Best M & E Innovation, Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards Innovation Award, two awards from the East of England Energy Group and the Most Enterprising New Market Entrant of the Year at the Euromoney and Ernst & Young Global Renewable Energy Awards. Last year it was in the top 25 of the GP Bullhound Cleantech Connect Awards.