State of the nation: domestic buildings

Background

There have been a number of studies undertaken over the last 10 years to understand the performance of homes, addressing issues such as energy consumption and outcomes for occupants and building owners. However, many of these studies are not widely publicised and limited to a small audience: their full potential is not being realised.

Now, we are transitioning into a new future of understanding building performance: the technology is becoming cheaper and data more available. As we enter a world of smart meters and smart homes, individuals and organisations will be better able to better understand how homes perform.
To harness the currently available knowledge and the opportunities around the corner, this work for the Building Performance Network will address the following issues and include:

  • A review of existing studies of domestic building performance.  Within scope are any studies considering energy consumption, thermal performance, environmental performance (including temperature, relative humidity and occupant feedback), and outcomes for occupants and housing providers;
  • A review of current building performance evaluation and assessment methods, including how these relate to energy consumption, comfort, health and well-being;
  • An assessment of how different building performance evaluation methods score against time, cost, and user expertise;
  • What smart meters and smart homes mean for the measurement of building performance;
  • The future of BPE, with recommendations for researchers, manufacturers, clients and where possible for the construction supply chain.

Objectives

We seek

  • To improve understanding and awareness of existing research work on the performance of domestic buildings: the objectives, main findings and key conclusions.
  • To inform those wishing to undertake BPE about methodologies for future studies
  • To engage and inspire policymakers and decisionmakers.

Researchers

The project is being managed by our partners The Good Homes Alliance. The research is being undertaken by Prof Rajat Gupta and the Low Carbon Buildings Research Group at Oxford Brookes University, with input from UCL and Leeds Beckett University, led by Paul Ruyssevelt and Chris Gorse respectively.

Timing

Work started in autumn 2018.  We expect the report at the end of 2019.

Funding

Our sponsors for this work are BEIS, Crest Nicholson, Isover, Knauf, MIMA, NHBC Foundation, and Woodknowledge Wales.

Report

This report will be a key resource of building performance research in the housing sector. By bringing together the findings of projects in the UK, it will provide an accessible resource for building professionals to understand what data has been collected and how to better understand it. Building performance data provides evidence as to how occupants experience buildings and here we consider how we might use this data to make more informed choices about UK homes.
The final report will be an accessible guide to:
·      the rationale and objectives of building performance studies;
·      key data, benchmarks and how they impact occupants to the findings of past studies;
·      a how-to guide to BPE;
·      the future of building performance studies.

Audience

Our audience is anyone considering carrying out their own BPE, commissioning it, understanding that of others; any practitioner or policymaker seeking to improve building performance in one building or across the board.

Contact

If you would like to participate in this study, or find out further information, then please contact Julian Brooks: Julian@goodhomes.org.uk.

LATEST

See here for news on this BPN research project:

Survey: state of the nation: domestic buildings

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