Energy House research leads to new skills for industry
Helping to reduce carbon emissions
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.
Bringing skills to the professionals
The University is using the experience gained by working with industry and from the research produced by the Energy House to meet the huge skills gap in the energy efficiency sector.
In collaboration with the low carbon business support company, Envirolink, we’ve launched a range of short courses for people working in the industry to take part in. Recently the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry gave the first certificates out to graduates on the Infrared Thermography course.
Successful graduate Mike Hughes of construction company, Hughes Brothers Ltd, based in Leigh, explained why he signed up: “We’re pioneering new methods of construction so this course gives us the skills to use new types of technology."
“Prevention is much better than a cure, so constructing buildings which lose energy is far more effective than installing renewable energy sources afterwards.”
We’ve also created the Carbon in Homes Driving Licence, run in collaboration with Property Tectonics Ltd. This short course is a five module programme providing a minimum of 20 hours’ continuing professional development and is co-ordinated through an online register.
One of the first graduates, Michael Sidebottom, works for a Welsh housing provider and the skills he’s gained will help him make a big difference to the lives of his association’s tenants.
“The knowledge I gained from the CIH Driving Licence will help enable effective project management of solar panel installations and has given me a broader base of knowledge in terms of understanding the UK housing stock and energy use within buildings.
“This will help to deliver the most appropriate technologies to achieve carbon emission reductions, as well as savings for residents and helping to tackle fuel poverty.”