The Energy House 2.0, which is based at the University of Salford, can simulate extreme weather conditions so that researchers can test new-build homes’ energy efficiency in challenging conditions.
Two homes have been constructed inside the £16m facility to test low-carbon innovations.
Road-testing technologies designed to make homes more energy efficient
The Guardian reported that: “It is hoped the research facility will play an important role in testing the technologies that will make our homes greener and cheaper to run, at a time when households are being crippled by sky-high energy bills.”
They added: “Inside the chamber, scientists can play God, sending the temperature plummeting to -20C or to the shock high of 40C experienced for the first time in the UK last summer. They can also batter the houses with gale force winds or, courtesy of a snow machine, manufacture a blizzard to test its energy performance.”
Earlier this month, Advantage noted that energy efficiency has become more important to potential house buyers than whether a property has a garden as people focus on finding ways to lower their energy bills.
Piloting next generation technologies
According to the Evening Standard, one of the homes within the Energy House 2.0 facility (which is called The Future Home and has been built by Bellway Homes) will trial the UK’s first roof-mounted air source heat pump, along with underfloor, infrared and ambient heating, mechanical ventilation, double versus triple glazing, enhanced insulation, and a prototype shower which recovers heat from wastewater.
They add: “The other, named eHome2, is piloting next generation heating and ventilation technologies, as well as smart technology which will enable residents to change the temperature and turn on the shower at the click of a button.
“It has been built by Barratt Developments in partnership with constructions solutions manufacturer Saint-Gobain.”
In a statement on their website, the University of Salford invites businesses to make use of the research facility, saying: “For companies with suitable technologies, we are able to offer access to the Energy House 2.0 for testing and research – entirely free of charge. If you would like to be involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
And for those who’d simply like to take a look at what the future of housebuilding might look like, they add: “We’re opening up #EnergyHouse2 for tours between 16-20 January 2023 before we start on our first research projects within the facility. If you’d like to come along, you can book a slot here.”