Energy House 2.0 is a pioneering research facility conceived by the University of Salford offering companies a state-of-the-art space to test and research energy-saving technologies.
What Is Energy House 2.0
Energy House Labs at Salford University is a cutting-edge facility for testing and developing the advanced materials technologies we need to reduce the impact of domestic energy consumption. It is at the cutting edge of the commercialisation of construction R&D.
Energy House Labs aims to ensure that newly built homes are as efficient as possible, by reducing embedded carbon in construction materials, eliminating waste in the construction process, fitting the most efficient heating technology, and using micro-generation technologies where appropriate.
Since 2012, Energy House 1.0 has provided a unique opportunity for the testing of new advanced materials technologies by providing a laboratory containing a 20th Century, solid brick wall, single-glazed, gas-heated, two-bedroom terrace house, fitted out with 200 monitoring points.
By allowing the simulation of a wide variety of weather conditions, including wind, rain and snow, with a temperature range from -12°C to +30°C, the House has allowed manufacturers and developers to demonstrate the real-world impact of new retrofit technologies.
Energy House 2.0 has now greatly expanded the capacity of the labs. With two environmental chambers, each able to accommodate two detached houses, it is the largest facility of its type. It can recreate weather ranging from -20˚C to +40˚C.
Two homes have been constructed inside Energy House 2.0 to test low-carbon innovations. The Future Home and 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.
The other, eHome2 by Barratt Developments in partnership with Saint-Gobain, 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.
But the facility has other research capabilities. Barratt’s Z House, built on the grounds of the university is a concept home, fitted with technologies from 40 providers, where students will be living to robustly test out the ability of a range of measures to deliver carbon reduction in the built environment.
The University of Salford plans to bring together materials innovation with the built environment and aims to bring forward new facilities for acoustics and net zero homes at its Salford Crescent campus and potentially at Rochdale-Bury Atom Valley.
How Will Energy House 2.0 Help Business Across Greater Manchester?
Companies of all sizes hoping to test suitable technologies can access the Energy House 2.0 facilities for testing and research entirely free of charge.
Energy House 2.0 offers Research Collaboration Partnerships for Greater Manchester businesses with a product or service that can reduce energy consumption in the home or carbon emissions. Partners' products can benefit from testing facilities and expert advice from world-leading academics.
How Will Energy House 2.0 Help Communities Across Greater Manchester?
Energy House 2.0 also runs the Friends of Energy House 2.0 Impact Fund which supports the diversification of the energy efficiency workforce by funding a new PhD Scholarship at the University of Salford which supports attracting more females into STEM and energy efficiency sectors.
The Friends of Energy House 2.0 Impact Fund also helps to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and tools needed to question and tackle challenges around green energy and climate change. By funding non-profits across the city-region the fund’s educational outreach programme hopes to educate students about climate change.
Energy House 2.0 also supports local sustainability initiatives driven by students at the University of Salford or communities across Greater Manchester to raise awareness and accelerate the work of Energy House 2.0. In June 2022, it awarded £60,000 in funding to three projects:
Digital Advantage’s The Sustainable Box Project- creating the Energy House in kit form to be used in classrooms to provide students with a hands-on, experimental programme.
University of Salford Arts Collection Team’s Artist in Residence - delivered in collaboration with Castlefield Gallery and Open Eye Gallery supports two artist residencies in Energy House Labs to highlight the vital work and engage the public.
Marple Education and Spotlight School of Speech and Drama’s The School Green Summit - designed to raise awareness of sustainability issues by developing the work of the Greater Manchester Green Summit to be more accessible for young people.