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UK sustainability prize for Energy research

Friday 17 November 2017

ADVANCES in household energy use have won the University of Salford a prestigious UK sustainability award.

The Salford Energy House - an extraordinary Victorian house laboratory – scooped the Research & Development Award in the Green Gown Awards 2017.

The two-up, two-down ‘Coronation Street’ dwelling, made from reclaimed materials, is equipped with sensors on every window, door, wall and appliance, and can be subjected to simulated climates –sun, wind, snow and rain!

Over a five-year period, Energy House has enabled the University to partner with industry and government on a huge range of energy-saving experiments, product and design testing, behavioural observation and retrofit research. Its’ revolutionising testing provides the same robust data in weeks that it may take researchers months if not years to collect in the field.

Helping 'fuel poor' 

Professor Will Swan, Director of Research in the School of the Built Environment, said: “The objective was to provide a world-class stream of evidence to support technological change in domestic energy use, which accounted for 30% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to contribute to a raft of initiatives to save on energy bills, particularly for Britain’s 5 million ‘fuel-poor’ households. 

“The result has been a game-changer for industry and the research community, and results include 3,000 homes retrofitted, methods to slash bills by 15% proven, technologies prototyped, £3.5m of grants attracted and more than 500 companies awoken to the possibilities of energy-saving.”

Bec Bennett, Environmental Sustainability Officer added:“Here at Salford, we recognise the vital contribution that the higher education sector has to make towards sustainability through our industry collaboration zones of which energy is one of the key themes.  We have reinforced our research on campus by reducing the University’s carbon emissions by over 40% since 2005.”

In 2016, the University of Salford won two Green Gown awards for our Castle Irwell Flood Basin Project and the work of Student Danielle Butler from the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies unit.

For more about the Salford Energy House, watch Prof Swan talking about it.