Cutting edge facility will test homeless shelters

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

With cold weather approaching, The University of Salford, together with our partners, are looking to develop a new generation of temporary accommodation for people who are homeless.

Working with the brand-new Energy House 2.0 facility on the University campus Emmaus Salford, Casey Group and AEW Architects, as well as the University are working to develop “People’s Pods” – which will provide comfortable and energy efficient temporary accommodation for the homeless.   

Former site cabins will be upgraded and refurbished to provide a t warm, safe place for rough sleepers to stay. Energy House 2.0 is a climate controlled chamber which can replicate temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees and has been used to evaluate the pods under winter conditions. 

This enabled the team to create an optimal design with high levels of and a low-cost heating system to provide a warm and comfortable environment.  

Joe Flanagan, Energy House 2.0 Project Manager, at the University of Salford, said: “Our unique Energy House 2.0 facility will have many uses, working with house builders and industry to help improve the efficiency of all our homes. But it can also be used for things like this to help give back and provide real benefits to the local community. We are proud to work with Emmaus to help develop better solutions for the homeless to help them keep warm in the colder months and will provide a stepping stone to a more stable future.” 

Through collaborative workshops, AEW Architects are taking this research and are developing a prototype design – transforming the cabin into a sustainable, energy efficient, sleeping pod.

Business Development Manager at Emmaus Salford, Jackie Smith, said: “Our first four sleeping pods opened in May 2020 and have helped many people off the streets access support and more permanent housing. Casey has kindly donated eight more cabins which we plan to refurbish to a high standard, both for the people who will be using them and for the planet.” 

The £16m Energy House is being part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and harnesses the University of Salford’s expertise in climate and the built environment.

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