Salford University embarks on project to upgrade homes built before 1920

Salford University
Research to find effective ways of upgrading the 15% of UK homes built before 1920 is being carried out in Salford University’s new ‘Energy hub’.

Salford University’s new facility to find ways of making old housing stock more sustainable has been opened by Greg Barker MP. The ‘Energy house’ is a full-sized, fully functional Coronation-Street style terraced house built in a sealed testing chamber. It will be used to test ways of making old housing stock more sustainable through the use of new materials, altering the behaviour of people and other innovations.

The least efficient homes in the UK were predominantly constructed before 1920. They account for 15% of UK homes but 23% of total notional CO2 emissions.

Internally, this solid-walled house is fitted out like millions of existing British 2-up 2-down dwellings — complete with running water and electricity. It is also furnished and equipped with typical brown and white goods and 21st-century gadgetry.

Externally, the house is connected to equipment to monitor energy use. There is also a artificial ‘weather’ generator, including rain.

The ‘Energy house’ is the centre piece of the University’s new ‘Energy hub’, a multi-disciplinary research centre drawing on the expertise of over 25 academics form 13 departments. It is a centre of excellence for energy research in the UK.

For more information on this story, click here: March 2011, 82
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