A STATE-of the art energy and buildings research facility will be built at the University of Salford as work begins on the delivery of the Energy House 2.0 scheme.
The new £16m facility will investigate the future of housing, looking at issues such as off-site construction, smart homes, and energy use. It builds on the work Salford has already done with Salford Energy House, a project which has enabled key changes to UK housing stock to save energy.
The drive to make housing more energy efficient will be a key part of trying to reduce global CO2 emissions to acceptable limits in the coming years.
Energy House 2.0 will contain two environmental chambers with the ability to achieve temperatures of between -20C and 40C and simulated wind, rain, snow and solar light. The facility will target a global market, with environmental conditions of 95% of the world’s population able to be replicated in the facility.
Professor Will Swan, Director of Energy House Laboratories, said: “Once work is complete our facilities will be globally significant. We have undertaken significant work in the UK over the last 10 years, but these new facilities give us major opportunities to work with international partners on major global challenges.
“This facility for whole buildings testing and research and will further the development of energy efficient technologies for the built environment. From a UK perspective we are very much driven by the Industrial Strategy and will be working with partners from industry to support the delivery of a low carbon built environment.”
The likely scope of technologies will be related to building fabric, smart control systems and meters, energy modelling and measurement. The scheme secured planning permission in May 2018 and work is dues to start at the beginning of next year, with the new facility coming on stream in the spring of 2021.
Dr Richard Fitton, Technical Research Lead for Energy House Laboratories, said: “The development of Energy House 2.0 has required considerable support from the University, industry and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The team are grateful for the interest and support the project has generated.”
The University has concluded the first stage procurement of a contractor to continue the design of the Energy House 2.0 facility. Bowmer & Kirkland have been successful in securing the project and will now set about completing the design, work package procurement and the construction of the facility.
The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund with other cash coming from the Office for Students. AECOM are providing Project Management and Cost Management Services.