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An experimental 'eco-house' will test zero-carbon technologies for new houses from 2025 – iNews

Property developer Bellway has built an experimental eco-house to research which environmental technologies will make it into the homes it builds after 2025.
The pilot house will examine how innovations in building materials, double or triple glazing, storing solar energy, recovering heat from wastewater and using air source heat pumps can make new homes more energy efficient.
Each of these elements will be tested in normal and extreme temperatures inside a specially built climate chamber, which can also simulate weather conditions including wind, snow and solar radiation.
Dubbed “The Future Home”, the property is being built at The University of Salford’s net-zero research facility Energy House 2.0, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund.
A Bellway spokesperson said that the developer hopes to determine which technologies will be used in its future new homes, which must abide by strict new climate targets from 2025.
Under new rules announced in December 2021, any new homes built in England will need to produce 30 per cent less CO2 than current standards.
The firm is currently building four “Future Homes” in Callerton, Northumberland with some of these energy-efficient changes, which will soon be available for open sale. The spokesperson said both these homes and its new homes from 2026 will be sold at a price “in line with the market”.
Jamie Bursnell, group technical and innovations manager for the company, said that the company was unsure how these innovations would actually “function for real families in real homes”, or what their running costs might be.
“The research will produce reliable data that can help us all to make change,” he added. “We will compare the theoretical and real performance of different energy methods, finding out how our habits impact on energy consumption and retention.”
Sensors around the eco-home will measure the difference between energy generated and energy lost in different climates. They will also measure the “comfort” level of the home, which will be explored further when guests are invited to stay there during the project.
Mr Bursnell said the technologies tested will become “common use” in new homes by 2026.
Dr Richard Fitton, research lead at Energy House Labs, added: “The modern house is by its very nature complex, with novel materials, renewable heating systems and interactions between all manner of smart home infrastructure.
“Our research will help to present data on how all this can work together to deliver homes that are efficient, comfortable and healthy.”
It comes after Octopus Energy announced it had partnered with sustainable developer ilke Homes to develop the UK’s first homes that would guarantee its residents had zero energy bills.
The properties, the first of which will be available to buy this summer, are equipped with an air source heat pump, solar panels and battery storage technology.
All rights reserved. © 2021 Associated Newspapers Limited.

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