Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has officially opened Salford University's new research centre, formerly used by the 19th century physicist James Joule to conduct his experiments into energy and heat.
During his visit on Wednesday, Huhne also visited the university's Energy House, which is a reconstructed terraced house built inside a lab being used by researchers to scientifically test the latest windows, doors, insulation and other technologies.
Salford University purchased Joule House, located at 3 Acton Square off The Crescent in Salford, from Maidments Solicitors in June for an undisclosed sum.
The purchase and renovation of Joule House was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The university secured an additional £580,000, taking the total amount of ERDF funding received to over £1.5m.
The funding will allow the university to grow its portfolio of business support activity, targeting regional businesses from the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector within the region.
Joule House will also feature an educational 'outreach room' displaying Joules' original scientific apparatus to inform people about the important experiments conducted in the building.
Huhne said: "Keeping homes warm in winter and saving money on energy bills are real life issues for people here in Manchester and up and down the country.
"I am pleased to be able to open this new facility at the historic Joule House. This will add to the already impressive efforts here at the University of Salford to improve the energy efficiency of the nation's housing stock."
Adrian Graves, deputy vice-chancellor, said: "The University is establishing a reputation for making a global difference on these crucial issues. Our research and collaborations with major businesses and numerous community groups on energy efficiency reflects the University's commitment to environmental research of the highest standard."