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University of Birmingham to lead on delivering affordable net zero housing at scale


The UK Government has committed the UK to reaching net zero by 2050. Without making our existing housing more sustainable, this will not be possible.

The University of Birmingham is embarking on a collaboration with innovators to explore how to improve existing houses in a scalable and affordable way, whilst contributing to local and national efforts to reach net zero carbon.

With the help of Innovation Gateway, the University is looking for truly innovative solutions to transform five buildings into unique Net Zero Carbon Lodges. The ambition of this project is to roll out successful pilots into similar existing houses across Birmingham, the Midlands, and the UK.

Call for Innovation – Living Lab: Net Zero Carbon Lodges 

The University of Birmingham is taking the lead with a project that will upgrade five existing and varied residential properties on their Birmingham campuses, through trials of innovative technologies and smart technology solutions and turning them to Net Zero Carbon Lodges.

Have you got a truly innovative solution in one of the following areas? The innovation sourcing round opens on 27-Oct 2022 – submit your expression of interest here.

Focus areas for innovation include:

  • Low carbon building materials
  • Heating and heat exchange systems
  • Connected SMART technology
  • Hard landscaping products

This Living Lab: Net Zero Carbon Lodges project is an exciting opportunity to combine the University’s knowledge and world-class research capabilities with the rapidly growing climate technology space, to evidence that affordable net zero housing at scale is possible.

Through this collaboration, the innovators will benefit from:

  • Heightened profile for their products and technologies to win new business
  • Access to world-leading energy, sustainability and data science experts, and sector leading partners to build credibility
  • Collaboration and knowledge exchange with peers and experts to demonstrate scale
  • Live-test data sets and case studies that validate their solution

Shortlisted innovators will be invited to pitch in front of a panel of senior University stakeholders in early Spring 2023.

Submit your expression of interest here.

Trevor Payne, Director of Estates at University of Birmingham commented, “Like much of our city, many of our campus buildings were built pre-1950 and are likely to be with us and in active use beyond 2050. Some of those buildings are now in need of upgrading to deliver ‘fabric first’ improvements and to support our net zero carbon aspirations. We have an exciting opportunity to retrofit existing buildings at scale in a sustainable, affordable way to support the delivery of our net zero carbon target. We need to partner with experts and technology/solution providers to develop our methodology for upgrade works and to establish our portfolio of SMART/Internet of Things and carbon reducing products and technologies. We look forward to working with you to bring this ambitious but achievable project to fruition.”

We’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like to know more about turning your net zero strategy into action, please email us: hello@innovationgateway.com