The University of Salford’s new Energy House 2.0 research facility is now complete. Before the next phase of work begins, colleagues at Salford have been invited to take a look inside.
All of this week (14-18 February 2022) the doors of Energy House 2.0 are open to colleagues to take part in a tour of the facility before work starts on the next phase. The hour-long tour starts with a look at the original Energy House Laboratory on the Peel Park campus, which was opened in 2012 and comprises a turn of the century end-terrace house within a single environmental chamber. Walking across the campus past the New Adelphi building, the tour also takes in the new Z House Project, a zero carbon home concept constructed on our campus by Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest housebuilder. The house will actually be occupied and monitored to assess its performance using the research and expertise of the University’s Energy House Laboratories. Outside of the house is a biodiversity garden, with nests for bats and swifts and even a ‘hedgehog highway’ to allow easy access through the garden fence.
Walking past Salford Crescent Station, Energy House 2.0 stands out on the Frederick Road campus and is a very impressive construct. The environmental chambers have now been completed and testing is currently taking place using rain and snow machines to replicate various weather conditions. The chambers can reach up to +40˚C and as low as -20˚C (it was -17.5˚C today – not somewhere you want to spend too much time! Brrrr!) and this will create test conditions that reflect the more extreme weather conditions experienced in other parts of the world. This is a step up from the original Energy House, which only replicated climate conditions normally experienced within a European setting and without such extreme temperatures. From March onwards houses will begin to be constructed with the chambers by a number of partners, including Saint-Gobain and Bellway Homes, and work is due to be completed by summer 2022 so that research can begin in earnest.
Reason for the build
The built environment accounts for some 40% of the UK’s carbon footprint and to achieve our net zero target, this will require a step change in the design of new buildings. More importantly, it will require a comprehensive upgrade and retrofit programme to the existing housing stock in the UK, with the UK Green Building Council estimating that 80% of the 2050 building stock has already been built.
Details of the build
At a cost of £16m, the construction of Energy House 2.0 has been supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Office for Students (OfS). Work commenced on Energy House 2.0 back in November 2020 and the initial build is now complete in 2022. This unique facility will play a key role in accelerating the progress towards low carbon and net zero housing design and builds upon the success of the original Energy House Laboratory.
Energy House 2.0 is the largest test and research facility of its type. The facility will be able to recreate any weather conditions within its two environmental chambers and each chamber is large enough to accommodate two full-sized houses. Under controlled conditions, it will be able to recreate a wide variety of weather conditions with temperatures ranging between -20˚C to +40˚C and simulated wind, rain, snow and solar radiation.
To find out more about the latest activities at Energy House 2.0 and to check out some of our case studies, please go to: https://energyhouse2.salford.ac.uk/
More information about the Z House Project run by Barratt Developments can be found at: https://www.salford.ac.uk/news/barratt-house-future-built-salford