Housing provider Thirteen is putting new and innovative ways to make homes greener and smarter to the test in a 1960s bungalow in Middlesbrough.
Working in partnership with Vision Building Services, the housing provider has transformed the old bungalow in Coulby Newham into a modern living space replete with the latest technology.
The 31 square-metre, open-plan, one-bed home has been completely reconfigured and refurbished, featuring a modern kitchen, shower room, landscaping, an accessible entrance.
The home also sports a range of modern technology, including:
- Triple-glazed windows and doors to reduce the heat loss
- Zonal radiant skirting heating (electric heating in the skirting boards), which saves space and can be operated by one control panel
- Sunamp thermal heat battery, giving instant hot water without the need for gas
- Prioto zonal control units (smart monitoring system that sends various sources of information back to a central platform)
- Vacutherm internal insulation panels to external walls and floor
- Mechanical ventilation heat recovery system (MVHR), providing fresh filtered air while retaining most of the energy that has already been used in heating the home, keeping it at a comfortable temperature
- Low-energy lighting system with wireless switches that work with a microchip, creating kinetic energy that sends a signal for the lights to come on
Proactive, not reactive
Helen Rooney, working as part of Thirteen’s technical development team and managing the project, said: “We’re looking at new and innovative ways to improve our environmental impact.
“This is an opportunity to test out a range of new products, services and smart technologies which we could use in the future.
“While it allows us to research the products on the market, there are so many benefits and we’re creating a safe, modern, energy efficient home for one of our customers.
“We’re expecting the running costs to be very low – we’ll be able to monitor the effectiveness of the products we’ve installed through sensors, which relay the information to us and will give us data so we know how it’s performing.
“We’re looking at how technology can help us become proactive, rather than reactive.
“For example, we’ll know when the filters need changing on the mechanical ventilation heat recovery system.
“Otherwise, this is very much a maintenance free home. You even get 35,000 cycles from the Sunamp until we need to do anything.”
The house sports additional extras such as space-saving sliding doors, an induction hob, USB charging points throughout, and under-cupboard low-energy lighting.
Helen continued: “We’ve looked at solutions that are right for this type of property, by making use of the space and adding extra safety features.
“This is the kind technology we’re expecting to see much more in the future as we work towards our goal of becoming a much greener organisation.”
Thirteen’s head of technical Mark Arnold added: “The work we have been piloting in this and other locations will provide essential insight into how we ensure Thirteen’s properties move towards our goal of being carbon neutral, while lowering the costs for customers and providing a new standard of aspirational homes to the local areas.”
Thirteen owns and manages just under 34,000 homes from an area spanning North Tyneside to York, with the majority in the Tees Valley, making it the largest landlord in the North East.
Image: Thirteen’s Helen Rooney with Vision Building Services site manager Dave Pearson and electrical manager Michael Coleman
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