There is a brand new facility known at Energy House 2.0 that is gathering research and testing new ways of powering, heating and insulating homes. It has taken over 6 years and is a £16 million project to reduce carbon emmision for new builds, to support the delivery of net zero homes in the UK and beyond.
The facility has two chambers, each large enough to fit 24 double decker buses! Energy House 2.0 can simulate weather conditions to test the energy performances of buildings. It can recreate gale force winds, rain, snow, ice and solar gain, as well as temperatures from –20 to 40 degrees Celsius. Temperatures are adjustable to within half a degree, the process of testing new homes will become significantly quicker, taking a few weeks, rather than months or years.
Two homes have been constructed inside the facility to test low-carbon innovations. One, called The Future Home and built by Bellway Homes, will trial the UK’s first roof-mounted air source heat pump, along with underfloor, infrared and ambient heating, mechanical ventilation, double versus triple glazing, enhanced insulation, and a prototype shower which recovers heat from wastewater.
The other, named eHome2, is piloting next generation heating and ventilation technologies, as well as smart technology which will enable residents to change the temperature and turn on the shower at the click of a button. It has been built by Barratt Developments in partnership with constructions solutions manufacturer Saint-Gobain.
This is a very exciting innovation, we can’t wait to hear more about the results of the development!