University of Sheffield presented with Green Leaf Award

The University of Sheffield has been presented with the Conviron Green Leaf Award™. Matthew Gilroy, Conviron’s Territory Manager for the United Kingdom was on hand to present the award to Timo Blake, Controlled Environment Facilities Manager and Professor Duncan Cameron, from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

“We have a long working relationship with the University of Sheffield and are pleased to recognize the University’s commitment to the important work of advancing plant science research. Conviron and Argus are honored to be the technology supplier of choice and delighted that in so doing we are supporting the University’s overall sustainability strategy” stated Gilroy.

Timo Blake stated “As well as saving a huge amount of energy, this upgrade will give our researchers here in Sheffield access to some of the best controlled plant growth facilities in the world. By Conviron also upgrading the growth room control systems we will be able to accurately track weather conditions from different parts of the planet, along with the ability to use climate data from historical and modelled weather systems too.”

Professor Cameron added “This significant investment not only enhances our already state-of-the art facilities, it importantly aligns our research with the University’s developing sustainability strategy, supporting the university community to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of our teaching and research.”

History of Development
The University of Sheffield’s Sir David Read Controlled Environment Facility was opened in 2004, after the culmination of a £10.4 million investment by the Joint Infrastructure Fund. This was followed by a more recent infrastructure investment of £3.6 million in 2016-17 as part of Plant Production and Protection (P3) translational biology centre. This and the nearby AWEC Greenhouse CE facility, now in total contain 87 CE chambers and 623 sqm of growth space that are able to simulate the majority of terrestrial environments from tropical to polar regions as well as past and future global atmospheric environments, including elevated and sub-ambient CO2 conditions.

The University of Sheffield’s Animal & Plant Science Department has successfully been awarded £829k of investment to modernise and significantly reduce the energy expenditure of the Sir David Read Controlled Environment Facility. This investment, as part of the UK’s Salix Energy Efficiency Scheme, will vastly reduce the energy usage and carbon footprint of the facility by £166,000 of electricity and 455 tonnes CO2 per year respectively.

The Salix investment will be used to replace the existing plant growth lighting with state-of-the-art LED lighting from Valoya and Fluence, which as well as requiring much less energy, will also provide a range of research benefits too. The enhanced lighting will give a spectral composition as close to that of natural sunlight as possible, and provide the ability to mimic sunrise and sunset conditions.

About University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield, Animal and Plant Science Department is one of the world's leading departments for whole-organism biology, with the UK's highest concentration of animal and plant science researchers. The department’s research projects look at a broad spectrum of topics on plant and microbial biology, covering levels of organisation from the molecule, through the whole organism, to ecosystem and global-scale events. The Animal and Plant Science Department has particular strengths in the areas of photosynthesis, plant-mycorrhiza and plant parasite interactions, the effects of climate and atmospheric change on plants and how plants influence global change. Discoveries provide tools to improve food security at a national and international level and offer insight into how past, present and future climatic scenarios impact on plants and, thus, the environment upon which life depends. For more details:

​P3 Plant Production and Protection, University of Sheffield

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield

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