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Salford Uni provides testbed for Barratt's house of the future

1 Nov 21 Barratt Developments has built a flagship zero carbon concept home as a testbed for all the latest sustainable housing technology.

The Z house looks reassuringly normal but goes beyond the Future Homes Standard
The Z house looks reassuringly normal but goes beyond the Future Homes Standard

The Z House is the first home in the country to be built by a major housebuilder that goes substantially beyond the Future Homes Standard, Barratt claims.

Based on Barratt’s Alderney design, the Z House has been built on the University of Salford’s main campus with support from more than 40 industry partners showcasing “the future of sustainable living”.

The house will test and monitor an air source heat pump, infrared panels, plaster that eliminates pollutants, a fridge that keeps food fresh for longer, heated skirting boards, air-powered showers, electric vehicle charging points, PV solar panels and battery storage.

Importantly, the home will also be lived in by a university academic to better understand the customer’s experience of zero carbon living.

Last year Barratt announced that all of its new homes will be zero carbon from 2030 and this flagship concept house is the first step in achieving that.

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It has been built with closed panel timber frames with highly insulated cladding, factory fitted windows and offsite panelised masonry ground floor wall panels.

Barratt challenged its supply chain partners to bring-in the most cutting edge products into the house to reduce its embodied carbon. These include electronic taps that can reduce water usage by 80%, kitchen cabinets made using 100% recycled chipboard plus reused coconut husk material for the handles, and a smart electricity tariff which automatically shifts energy usage to access the cheapest rates. Project partners include the University of Salford, GTC, British Gypsum, Octopus, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

There will also be a ‘knowledge and energy hub’ built into the garage space to display and showcase products and technologies used within the Z House. Here, visitors will be able to monitor digital displays showing visuals of live energy use via a monitoring network which is built into the fabric of the home.

Barratt Developments chief executive David Thomas said: “We want to showcase what can be done to deliver zero carbon living using the latest technologies and working with the best industry partners. Ultimately, the aim is to find solutions to enable the industry to build high quality, zero carbon homes that customers love, at scale. We can then share this knowledge to help the industry deliver the future of sustainable housing.”

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