State of the art techniques have been utilised by academics at Teesside University to showcase to residents of Thirteen communities the benefits of the latest renewable technologies.
Researchers at the University have worked alongside staff at the social housing provider to develop a 3D virtual reality model of an energy efficient home.
The model allows the residents to ‘walk through’ the house and experience its features and make an informed decision about how the green technologies, such as increased insulation and air source heat pumps, could be employed within their own home.
The project is part of a collaborative initiative between Teesside University and Thirteen Group – Towards a Greener Tees Valley – which has brought more than £700,000 of funding into the region to help develop green projects, and to better understand some of the challenges that the green agenda poses, especially for social housing. The project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.
Residents of Thirteen communities from across the Tees Valley visited the University to hear about how their properties could be improved through sustainable technologies, ask any questions they might have and also trial the virtual reality demonstrator.
Denise Ross, from Thornaby, said: “I’m all for being green, but it’s got to be the appropriate elements that suit us.
“This has helped to answer a lot of the questions I have and also makes me want to learn a lot more about what alternatives there are.”
Kelvin McCann, from Middlesbrough, added: “It’s been very enlightening, I didn’t know much about this system before I came here and I’ve learned a lot.
“It’s given me a good insight about what it could look like. I’m hoping that we can now see one in place and get feedback from other residents who have used one.”
This research forms part of Teesside University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law’s socio-economic impact campus initiative which is helping to develop the skills and capabilities to ensure that the Government’s Levelling Up agenda is a success in the Tees Valley.
By working together, we can combine Thirteen's practical knowledge with the university's research and academic expertise, and we look forward to bringing about some real environmental improvements.
Professor Natasha Vall, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) in Teesside University’s School of Social Sciences Humanities & Law, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Thirteen residents to Teesside University.
“The visit was an extremely useful exercise for all concerned. “It was an excellent opportunity for the residents to learn about the potential of energy efficient technologies within the home, while staff from the University and Thirteen could hear about their experiences and understand any concerns or issues that they might have.”
Jayne Lawson, Thirteen’s head of innovation and marketing, said: "It was a fantastic opportunity for residents to experience some of the latest renewable technologies first-hand and bring the benefits of an energy-efficient home to life.
“They asked lots of questions and got some great insight into the technologies, their impact on carbon emissions, and the customers themselves. This will help us ensure our approach is right before agreeing on future work programmes for all our homes.
"It's not just the changes to the fabric of buildings which are important. Many of the technologies used in homes in the future will need people to understand them and change their behaviour, so this project is fundamental to helping our customers.
"By working together, we can combine Thirteen's practical knowledge with the university's research and academic expertise, and we look forward to bringing about some real environmental improvements.”
University showcases 'green' homes in tie-in with housing group
Thirteen Group residents were given a "virtual" tour of energy-efficient homes thanks to a Teesside University project.