Showcasing fuel poverty technology

An entire street of Eco-houses at The University of Nottingham will be completed this month with the opening of the Mark Group EcoHouse.
An entire street of Eco-houses at The University of Nottingham will be completed this month with the opening of the Mark Group EcoHouse. The house will showcase some of the latest designs and building techniques to improve energy efficiency and bring down our fuel bills.

The steel frame building features 12 different energy-saving and power generating technologies. The aim is to demonstrate how they might be used to improve energy efficiency of social housing stock and tackle fuel poverty.

The house is the last of seven energy efficient homes of the future which have been constructed in partnership with industry. Run by the Department of Architecture and Built Environment in the Faculty of Engineering the Creative Energy Homes Project is a ‘living lab’ of specially designed houses built to test and research different aspects of modern methods of construction and sustainable and renewable technologies.

Mark Gillott, Professor of Sustainable Building Design, said: “Research undertaken through industry/academia partnerships is a vital part of developing sustainable housing solutions to tackle the key issues of climate change, fuel poverty and the provision of warm and affordable housing. It is also vital that we educate the next generation of professionals with the knowledge to design and deliver these solutions — something we are doing here at Nottingham with our own students. We are delighted to be working with the Mark Group on this exciting innovative project which is the latest addition to our Green Close research houses. Not only will the EcoHouse act as a research test bed but also as a teaching and learning facility to inform people about energy saving technologies.”

Key role for alumni

Leicester based energy saving business, Mark Group, is spearheaded by a team of University of Nottingham Alumni who have built the company into one of the country’s leading domestic insulation specialists.

Lee Cottingham, Mark Group’s Global CEO and Chairman graduated with a degree in Industrial Economics while Jay Hensman, the company’s Commercial Development Director has a Nottingham degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Building Design.

Bill Rumble, Mark Group Chief Commercial Officer, who graduated from Nottingham with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering, said: “We are extremely proud of the development of the Eco House, of our partnership with The University of Nottingham and of what this project will help us to achieve in the fight against fuel poverty.

“A staggering 2.4 million homes in the UK are still living in fuel poor homes* and as we work very closely with local authorities and social housing providers nationwide, it made perfect sense to use this house to demonstrate what is possible to achieve. The Eco House is a concept house, no one else has combined this selection of technologies in a property to date, and visitors will therefore be able to explore the possibilities for their own housing stock, helping them to realise their full potential for saving and generating energy.”

TV’s Dick Strawbridge will present the key note speech at the launch event which takes place on Green Close, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2QL between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Wednesday 16 October 2013. The house will be officially opened at 12noon.

Following the launch, the Eco House will be used for research and monitoring by the University and by Mark Group as a concept house for demonstrating energy efficiency technologies.


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