Energy House takes a lead in making homes greener
Seventy percent of the homes we’ll be living in in 2050 are already built, and a lot of them are pretty inefficient. Which is where the University of Salford’s Energy House comes in.
Opened in January 2010, the House is a 1910 Coronation Street-style terrace built inside a lab where scientists can vary the temperature and even make it rain.
What this means is that the great British weather never stops the tests. If you want to test three types of insulation at the House you can recreate the same freezing weather day after day – come rain or shine outdoors.
Over 50 companies have already taken advantage of this – from multinationals to inventors with a new product. And all of the products are designed to reduce our energy bills and cut the greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere.
Climate change is of course a huge political and social issue as well. The unique way that the Energy House works is by bringing researchers from different fields together. Materials scientists are working alongside experts in psychology and town planning to address every angle of the problem.
Experts from the House have been invited to speak at Whitehall and in Brussels and, in January, Salford will be the only UK university represented at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
With the Government’s Green Deal starting to get under way, the work at the Energy House is going to be ever more vital in cutting our spending on energy and the carbon emissions this generates.