Researchers step back to 1930s

A team of researchers will build a full-size replica of a 1930s semi to assess how easy it is to make existing homes zero carbon.

Experts at the University of Nottingham have teamed up with energy company E.ON to build the house in the university grounds as part of its Creative Energy Homes Project.

The home, which required special planning permission because it is so energy inefficient, will be completed by August and staff or student volunteers will be recruited to live in the building as part of the study.

Over the course of three years, it will be transformed into a zero carbon home to investigate how easy it is to retrofit the UK’s existing housing stock.

It is estimated that 86% of today’s homes – which will include a large number of 1930s semis – will still be in use by 2050.

Dr Mark Gillott, research and project manager for Creative Energy Homes told edie: “We are recreating a 1930s house right down to the thermal properties.

“The reason for doing that is really because we are going to have some very invasive monitoring that would be difficult to do in somebody else’s home.

“For the people who are living there, there will be times when I will be putting tags on them to see where they are and how much energy they are using.”

After a year of monitoring energy use in the home in all its 1930s glory, Nottingham students will be challenged to make it more energy efficient within a set budget.

It will then be monitored for another year before the researchers attempt to adapt it to become zero carbon and monitor the effect of the changes.

It is one of six homes that are being built under the Creative Energy Homes project to explore energy efficient and low carbon design and construction.

Another home, the BASF house, is now finished, and the Stoneguard house is almost completed.

More information about all the houses in the project can be found here.

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