Birds...friend or foe when it comes to energy efficiency?

Birds...friend or foe when it comes to energy efficiency?

Ever wondered about the effects of bird poo on your home’s energy efficiency?

No, me neither…but researchers at University of Salford have, and will be looking at that and a huge range of other factors in their pioneering ‘energy house’ experiment.

In order to find out more about the energy efficiency of our homes, researchers are building a replica of a typical pre-1920s terraced house from scratch, using reclaimed materials and will kit it out just like an average 21st Century home. However, this is not a typical home by a long shot – for starters, it will be sealed inside a huge three-storey lab.

Scientists will be able to control and measure environmental factors, like wind, rain, sun, snow and humidity, to get an idea of just how energy efficient the average home is in terms of heat loss, energy usage and CO2 emissions.

The house is being constructed so that it is completely flexible – researchers will be able to look at a range of different scenarios, from things you’d expect, like efficiency of different ways of heating your home or the effect of missing roof tiles or blocked chimneys, to the slightly bizarre, like the impact of having a build-up of bird droppings on your roof.

It is hoped the research will shed light on ways to make older homes more energy efficient – the country’s least efficient homes tend to be those constructed before 1920, which make up 15% of homes in England but account for a disproportionate 23% of total notional CO2 emissions.

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