Accelerating progress towards net zero housing design.

The Energy House Laboratories are one-of-a-kind, world-leading research facilities that are forging the way in making our buildings carbon neutral.

The built environment accounts for 40% of the UK’s carbon footprint and to achieve net zero will require a step change in the design of new buildings but also, more importantly, it will require a comprehensive upgrade and retrofit programme to the existing housing stock; the UK Green Building Council estimates that 80% of the 2050 building stock has already been built.

Through commercial and grant funded research, Energy House Laboratories helps businesses understand how effective their products and services are in lowering consumers’ carbon footprint and reducing energy bills.

Energy House 2.0

Energy House 2 external view

A unique £16 million research facility, Energy House 2.0 is the largest of its type. Inside, there are two environmental chambers each able to accommodate two detached houses and under controlled conditions, recreate a wide variety of weather conditions.

The chamber can recreate environmental conditions of 95% of the earth’s inhabited land, with temperatures from -20c to 40c, including rain, wind, snow, and solar radiation.

This unique facility will play a key role in accelerating the progress towards low carbon and net zero housing design and builds upon the success of the original Energy House 1, which was opened in 2012.    

It was built in part thanks to funding from Innovate UK Innovation Accelerator.

Energy House 1

Victorian terrace house in Energy House

Energy House 1 is a unique research and testing laboratory and comprises an early 20th century two-bedroom terraced house within an environmental chamber allowing an accurate and rapid assessment of energy efficient retro fit technologies.

It is a traditional construction; solid brick walls, suspended timber floors and single glazed windows with a conventional ‘wet’ heating system fired by a gas boiler. The environmental chamber can be used to simulate a wide variety of weather conditions with a temperature range from -12°C to +30°C, as well as wind, rain, snow and incident solar radiation.

Throughout the chamber and the house there are over 200 monitoring points with real time data collection of parameters such as temperature, humidity, heat flux, electricity and gas consumption.

The facility underpins a range of research topics including:

  • Building physics/performance
  • Sensors/data collection
  • Data analysis and visualisation
  • Human factors
  • Smart meters and connected homes

Salford Smart Home

A detached house in Salford with a car in the driveway

Working with Energy House Labs, Barratt Developments built a revolutionary house: the Salford Smart Home (formerly known as the Barratt Zed House) – the first home in the UK that takes sustainability beyond the current Future Homes Standards.

The Salford Smart Home is fitted with several sensors that will record data for Energy House Labs research. It will be monitored to assess its performance using the research and expertise of the University’s Energy House Laboratories.

It is the first new home in the country built by a major housebuilder to go beyond the new Future Homes Standard by delivering a carbon reduction of 125%.

The house was developed as an industry showcase home to demonstrate what is achievable, particularly from a mainstream, volume housebuilder. The new home was built with over 40 leading industry partners from across the housebuilding, sustainability and technology sectors, all helping to broaden knowledge in zero carbon living with the lessons learnt from the construction being shared across the industry.

Smart Meters>Smart Homes Laboratory

Smart meter on a shelf

Smart meters technology is designed to help meet carbon reduction targets, put an end to estimated bills and help people save money. The smart meter sits at the heart of an increasingly complex smart home energy system made up of any combination of energy saving appliances, energy storage devices, electric vehicle chargers, smart speakers, sensors and wearable technology.

As the UK’s first smart meter research laboratory, our researchers help our commercial customers explore how their innovative products and services can get the best out of smart meters to help UK consumers use energy more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Thermal Measurement Laboratory

Thermal Measurement Laboratory

The Thermal Measurement Laboratory at the University of Salford has been providing a test research and development service to the insulation and construction industry for over 40 years.

The Laboratory provides accurate and verifiable measurements of insulation performance of component building materials which is essential for the realistic evaluation of carbon savings in the enormous areas of exposed elements in the built environment.

Energy House

Researcher in Energy House

Explore our Energy House website to find out more about our recent projects and how we can support you.


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