The thermometer sinks below zero as a blizzard of fine snow descends on two houses freshly built inside a massive laboratory in northern England.
Despite the icy conditions, the two energy-efficient homes remain cosy and warm due to their use of cutting-edge heating and insulation technology.
Welcome to Energy House 2.0 — a science experiment designed to help the world’s housebuilders slash carbon emissions, save energy and tackle climate change.
The project, based in a laboratory resembling a giant warehouse on Salford University campus near the centre of Manchester, opened last month.
Rain, wind, sunshine and snow can be recreated in temperatures ranging from 40 degrees Celsius to -20C, operated from a control centre.
“What we’ve tried to achieve here is to be able to replicate the weather conditions that would be experienced around 95 percent of the populated Earth,” Professor Will Swan, head of energy house laboratories at the university, told AFP.