At the start of July, the Modelling and Analytics for Sustainable Societies (MASS) students were given a tour around the Creative Energy Homes built on University Park campus, to learn more about the smart sustainable technologies being tested by leading firms to improve the efficiency of the occupants’ energy use. Each home had been built for a unique purpose; whether this was testing state-of-the-art renewable technologies or assessing affordable modifications to existing homes to meet ambitious carbon emission targets.
One of the houses we got the opportunity to look inside was the Mark Group House; this was one of the modern homes where PhD and research architecture staff undertake several research studies by monitoring every aspect of the home’s efficiency from the numerous control panels you see as soon as you enter the property. In addition to the solar panels on the roof, the position and size of the windows meant the solar energy captured and duration of natural light was maximised. For those hotter days of the year, the automatic windows on the roof would open to allow natural ventilation and close once an optimal temperature is achieved.
Amongst the remaining houses, one had a Tesla battery to store excess energy already being produced by the home’s renewable sources to recharge an electric car, whilst another had a solar chimney to conduct energy into the home yet would also act as a ventilation system. It was great to see evidence of the other sustainable research being conducted across the university in addition to the research being conducted amongst ourselves.
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