Main construction completed on £16m low-carbon homes research facility

Energy House 2.0 test and research facility will support the UK in its ambition to reach carbon net zero by 2050.

Energy House 2.0, a £16m research facility for the development of new low-carbon homes and retrofit technologies at The University of Salford, has completed a construction milestone. 

With the main building now complete, the next stage of work will focus on the four homes inside the building which will provide a test bed for climatic and energy related research. 

The laboratory will be the largest test and research facility of its kind, supporting the UK in its ambition to reach carbon net zero by 2050. 

The site is due to open in late summer and when completed, will have two large chambers allowing up to four houses to be experimented on at any one time. 

Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Perfect Circle was appointed by the university to provide a range of muti-disciplinary services throughout the delivery of the state-of-the-art research facility. 

The project was led by AECOM, a founding partner of Perfect Circle, and procured through SCAPE Consultancy, a direct award framework that drives collaboration, efficiency, time and costs savings from one of the UK's leading procurement authorities. 

David Maiden, Perfect Circle regional lead and AECOM project director, said: "This truly unique facility will be invaluable in guiding us to make better decisions for future developments and enable our wider industry partners to carry out important research. We have delivered a complex, technically challenging project, with nothing like it ever undertaken before. We believe innovation is crucial in helping the industry reach net zero and project such a Energy House 2.0 are critically important in this journey."

AECOM also supported the development of the complex mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the performance deign, which involved the development of the two environmental chambers - each able to accommodate a variety of house types. 

The chambers can recreate a wide variety of weather conditions with temperatures ranging between -20C to +40C, including simulated wind, rain, snow and solar radiation to represent up to 95% of the populated world's climatic conditions. 

Bowmer + Kirkland are the contractors for the construction of the facility.

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