Inside the £16m research centre testing houses against the elements

Bellway Future Home Salford 3 (2)

The University of Salford says its Energy House 2.0 can simulate 95% of global environmental conditions. Daniel Gayne takes a look

It is just past noon in Salford, but the temperature has dropped below 0°C and there is snow on the ground. Even for the frigid North-west of England, these are unseasonal conditions for a fair day in mid-February.  

No, this is not the set of a Mancunian remake of The Day After Tomorrow, but rather a £16m university research facility which will test the homes of the future against the elements. The snow is here because Chinese broadcast media were on site yesterday and wanted something visual to shoot.

Mike Brown, director of strategic partnerships at the University of Salford, tells me that synthesising such conditions is the bread and butter of Energy House 2.0. Completed just weeks ago, the facility is the largest, among very few, of its kind in the world.

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