Space: Salford Energy House provides unique testing asset for research

Energy House Salford1The Salford Energy House is the centerpiece of Salford University’s cross discipline Applied Buildings and Energy Research Group.

While it looks like an ordinary house, this is actually a unique testing asset. It is the only full-scale building in an environmental chamber in Europe, and the only full-scale brick-built test facility in a controlled environment in the world.

It has been designed and developed to allow leading academics and researchers to conduct scientific research, to improve the energy efficiency of hard to treat properties, in collaboration with industry.

EnergyHouse3 SalfordThe Salford Energy House is uniquely able to provide quick and robust data to companies about the energy efficiency of their products. Testing in the field can be time consuming and costly. Field monitoring issues such as the impact of occupants, weather and other “noise” from the field means that robust studies can take three years to return useful data. Controlling the weather and using the capacity of the Salford Energy House to collect far more data than is possible in the field can compress these studies into a matter of weeks.

EnergyHouseSalford2The Salford Energy House team have been running projects since 2012, undertaking a number of world’s first in that time.

One of the key elements of the facility that emerged over time is the capacity to validate methods for understanding the built environment. The team have been able to work with institutions both in the UK and EU to develop new methods and sensors to better measure in the field and within the house.

This unique facility sits at the centre of the buildings and energy work at the University of Salford, which includes work with Greater Manchester, local social housing providers, community groups, as well as major companies and UK and international academic partners. It is a major facility in helping us all understand how to ensure people have comfortable and energy efficient buildings, while at the same time addressing issues such as low carbon and the alleviation of fuel poverty.

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