From wintry conditions to rain and sunlight – a mega-Lab located in Salford, United Kingdom (UK) can recreate and generate different weather conditions in order to test the energy-efficient house of the future. The project is called Energy House 2.0 with the main goal to promote energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and help mitigate climate change. With this project, companies and scientists will no longer have to wait for different weather conditions, as it will be possible to experiment will all different types in a week.
In a range from –20 °C (-4 °F) to +40 °C (+104 °F), the lab can replicate weather conditions for 95% of the world’s population. The desired weather will be controlled by a control center. The main advantage of the houses is the integrated innovative heating and insulation technologies, in addition to solar panels, which are also added to the roof. The lab features two chambers, with typical British houses that were constructed by UK construction companies. The first one was built by Barratt Developments and the French Saint-Gobain.
The project is developed in a warehouse at the Salford University campus near Manchester. As said by the project leader of the energy house laboratories, Professor Will Swan for the AFP, “What we’ve tried to achieve here is to be able to replicate the weather conditions that would be experienced around 95% of the populated Earth”, adding that the goal of testing different housing types is “to understand how we deliver their net-zero and energy-efficient homes”.
Further experiments include testing innovative heating systems, sensor monitoring, and integrating Amazon’s Alexa as the control-management system. A circuit of hot water is also integrated into the bottoms of the walls.
After it will be experimented with the already built houses, the lab will be available for rental, meaning that all other interested construction companies will be able to test their developments in different conditions.