There’s a growing appreciation of the gap that exists between the design of a building and its ‘as-built’ performance. This ‘performance gap’ occurs in buildings across all sectors, whether it’s social housing, commercial office space, public buildings or private residential dwellings.
The Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) programme was an £8 million competition funded by Innovate UK (formerly, Technology Strategy Board). Working with leading industry practitioners, the programme sought to identify where the ‘performance gap’ arises, by evaluating and assessing the post-construction and in-use performance of both domestic and non-domestic buildings. This was done through detailed forensic evaluation, including: fabric in-situ U-value testing, multi-stage air tightness testing, long-term indoor air quality evaluation as well as post-construction reviews, occupant walkthroughs and post-occupancy evaluation.
The programme included a total of 52 new housing projects, of which 54% (28 projects) were led by Registered Providers (RPs).
The National Energy Foundation’s Technical Team was commissioned by Innovate UK to undertake an analysis of the data arising from all 28 RP-led projects, which comprised 83 test dwellings. The ultimate objective of the study was to empower RPs to take a lead and become champions in combating the performance gap between designed and as-built.
Findings from the study identified:
In particular, the study found that:
The National Energy Foundation is actively involved in a number of the key areas identified by the BPE:
The Foundation will be presenting the findings of this work at the National Housing Maintenance Forum – a two-day conference devoted to housing maintenance that is expected to attract over 350 people with responsibility for maintenance and stock re-investment in repairs and maintenance contractors, suppliers and consultants.
The National Energy Foundation is also looking forward to the upcoming Building Data Exchange Hackathon run by Innovate UK where it will be sponsoring a challenge specifically aimed at leading programmers, coders and construction sector professionals interested in developing new tools, techniques and data visualisation work that will help building designers, specifiers, owners and users to find and act on the ‘performance gap’.
Energy Specialist, Federico Seguro, commented:
“The construction industry continues to wrestle with pinpointing and bridging the gap between the design of buildings and their ‘as-built’ performance; a gap that exists across all building sectors. Our meta-analysis of all of the BPE projects led by Registered Providers revealed the trigger points resulting in social housing projects failing to deliver on the designed performance targets, and identified a number of key issues for the future. Our research will empower Registered Providers who have the means to champion and combat the ‘performance gap’ in buildings, and allow them to apply lessons from the BPE to their new developments.”