Chris Skidmore MP tours University’s Energy House Labs

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

MP Chris Skidmore visited the University’s Energy Houses to hear all about the work we do to improve energy efficiency in the home. 

He was part of a group on a fact-finding mission from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Environment that aims to help turn Britain into a net zero nation.

The Energy House Labs have been at the forefront of an attempt to build a more energy efficient Britain and are a focal point for the review that parliament is currently leading. The team arrived at the University in the afternoon and were shown around the original Energy House’s chambers. They were given a detailed rundown of how the lab is helping to build a greener Britain by project lead, Will Swan. This first instalment of the energy house contains a chamber with a constructed terraced house that is used to test against various weather conditions.

The tour then carried on to the impressive Barratt Zed House. The project aims to save families a significant amount on their bills, reduce food wastage and energy loss and reduce carbon output by 125%. Chris was shown the modern inside of the house which is fitted with over one hundred sensors to collect data and saw the RSPB gold rated biodiversity garden too.

The main and final attraction of the visit was Energy House 2.0, the new testing facility that improves upon the progress made by the first iteration. The lab contains two chambers that can simulate different environments with temperatures ranging between -20°C to +40°C. Chris was shown how the facility will play a key role in the UK’s journey towards lower carbon emissions. APPG representatives were joined by Joe Sweeney, the Dean and Professor of the School of Science, Engineering and Environment, as well as the Energy House 2.0 Technical Lead Richard Fitton to describe the changes in the newer lab design. 2.0 features quadruple the number of houses and chambers with the ability to simulate more extreme environments for a more international marketplace. Chris and the team geared up in safety equipment and explored the houses that are currently being constructed by Bellway and Barratt. 

Among those shown around alongside Chris were other members from the APPG and Green Alliance as well as Henri Murison, the Chief Executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Richard Fitton said: “The group were incredibly interested in the work we are doing here at Salford and impressed with our facilities. Working with our partners we are creating something that can help us all cut our energy bills and reduce our impact on the environment.”

Will Swan said: “It is great to see the work we are doing with Energy House and now Energy House 2.0 being recognised in national Government. Our cutting edge research is already having real world impact and as the cost of gas and electricity keeps going up and up this work is even more important to create a sustainable and economically viable future for this country and the world.”

After visiting Salford’s Energy House Labs, the group will continue their tour to visit other green schemes across the country in the hopes of building a more energy efficient Britain.

You can read more about the University’s energy house projects here.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.