How green is your building?

How green is your building?

17 Dec 2010

Over twenty new building developments across the UK are to be subjected to a detailed and intensive assessment of their environmental impact in the first phase of a four year programme that will help to deliver more energy efficient, better performing buildings.

The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is to fund the cost of seventeen intensive building performance evaluation studies covering a total of nine domestic developments and thirteen non-domestic buildings, following funding awards in the first phase of an £8 million open competition.  Expert evaluators will help the successful applicants to determine how the buildings perform and why.

The in-depth study of the initial case study buildings – and many other buildings that will be evaluated over the next four years – will enable the construction industry as a whole to better understand the performance of different building types, design strategies, construction methods and occupancy patterns, and the relative contribution of various factors to the eventual performance of the buildings.

Richard Miller, the Technology Strategy Board’s Head of Sustainability, said:

“The government has set the challenging target of an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by 2050.  With 45% of the UK’s CO2 emissions coming from buildings, we need to stimulate innovation towards achieving these goals.  A key challenge is to ensure that building designs lead to physical buildings that perform as intended.”

There is typically a significant discrepancy between the predicted energy performance of a building, and hence its CO2 emissions, and actual performance.  The energy requirement of a building can easily be twice that predicted, and often between four and seven times when taking into account the energy used as a result of the activities undertaken in the building.  These discrepancies arise from a variety of sources, ranging from the initial design and modelling tools used, the build process and build quality, systems integration and commissioning, handover & operation through to the understanding, comfort and motivation of occupants.  The studies to be carried out will look at these issues, highlighting areas for improvement and innovation, and increasing understanding.

Stephen Stone, Chief Executive of Crest Nicholson, said:

“It is becoming increasingly important to develop homes that are sustainable in use, as well as design, and a better understanding of actual energy performance against design intention will play a vital role in helping us to improve the design, construction and delivery across all of our future sites.  The knowledge gained from this study will deliver vital learning and developmental improvements that will be of benefit to the entire industry.”

Judit Kimpian, Aedas Head of Sustainability and Advanced Modelling, said:

"We are delighted to be able to conduct this detailed building performance evaluation of five Aedas-designed buildings.  Growing our understanding of the way in which occupants interact with our buildings is the very essence of our design approach."

Mr Peter Phelps, Energy and Environment Manager at the University of Bath’s Department of Estates, added:

"This evaluation will educate our current and future plans, as well as provide vital research in a key area for achieving the UK's challenging carbon reduction targets.

Tim Cutting of ECOS Homes, said:

“ECOS homes are delighted to have been selected to take part in the Building Performance Evaluation project, which we feel is helping to overcome significant barriers that face developers who want to undertake performance monitoring of the buildings they construct.”

The Building Performance Evaluation competition for funding runs for two years with tranches of funding being made available at three-monthly intervals.  The deadline for the next round of funding applications, for both domestic and non-domestic buildings, is 12 January 2011.

For full press release including notes to editors please follow this link

Media contacts:
Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager, Technology Strategy Board.  Mobile: 07554 115745; Email:


Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant, Technology Strategy Board.  Mobile: 07824 599644; Email:


Last updated on Friday 18 February 2011 at 12:05

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