DigiTech Smart House at BT’s Adastral Park leads the way in sustainable living

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A zero-carbon house which will be the “embodiment of sustainability” has been opened at BT’S Adastral Park near Ipswich.

The University of Suffolk DigiTech Smart House project is a collaborative research facility that aims to demonstrate the regional capacity for designing, building and occupying sustainable homes.

Partners in the project include New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and BT and it coincides with the launch of the Suffolk Sustainability Institute.

The DigiTech Smart House will utilise systems to evaluate the performance of sustainable materials, low carbon energy and water consumption addressing two pressing concerns — climate change and the impact of the construction industry has on this and the UK housing crisis through chronic shortage of affordable homes. It will be used as a ‘living laboratory’ and demonstrator by the University of Suffolk and a range of third-party innovation partners.

The building will be easy to maintain and comfortable to be in offering a vision for a sustainable way of life that enhances lifestyles and acts as a template for future domestic homes.

Professor Darryl Newport, Professor of energy and sustainable development at the University of Suffolk and Director of the Suffolk Sustainability Institute said: “The launch of the Suffolk Sustainability Institute and the opening of our new Smart House Living Laboratory at the University of Suffolk is an important milestone in our journey to addressing some of the major global sustainability challenges.

“Our research experts will use their knowledge and understanding to work with our local, regional and international partners and collaborators to deliver innovative solutions for a cleaner greener future.”

Mohammad Dastbaz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Suffolk said: “The University of Suffolk is a strong advocate of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), working closely with BT, New Anglia LEP, our county and borough councils as well as significant energy companies in our region including EDF.

“We hope that our collaborative research and knowledge exchange work will contribute to our region’s ambition for transition to a zero-carbon economy as well as the University’s key objective of carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”

Lisa Perkins, Adastral Park & Research Realisation Director, at BT added: “Adastral Park is home to a thriving innovation ecosystem, comprising BT, Openreach and 150 businesses in the Innovation Martlesham tech cluster.

“It has long been home for the invention and delivery of impactful technology solutions that make a real difference to society. The ecosystem has been recently enriched with the presence of the University of Suffolk’s DigiTech Centre, with the aim of creating opportunities for research, education and training.

“The Smart House is another opportunity that we have co-launched which will enable exciting research into sustainability linked with smart technology. We are excited to see what further purposeful solutions may come from this.”

Photo credit: Gregg Brown/University of Suffolk.

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