Green technology put to the test in Middlesbrough home

Discover more

Working in partnership with Vision Building Services, Thirteen has transformed a 1960s bungalow in Coulby Newham into a modern living space, with all of the latest technology.

The 31 square-metre, open-plan, one-bedroom home has been completely reconfigured and refurbished, with a modern kitchen, shower room, landscaping, an easy-accessible entrance and a range of technology including:

  • Triple glazed windows and doors to reduce the loss of heat
  • Zonal radiant skirting heating (electric heating in the skirting boards) – a great space saver, which is operated by one simple 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 which 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.

Working as part of Thirteen’s technical development team and managing the project, Helen Rooney 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.”

There are 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.”

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 Thirteens 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.”