Journal Article


Evaluating the influence of building fabric, services and occupant related factors on the actual performance of low energy social housing dwellings in UK

Abstract

This paper empirically investigates the influence of building fabric, services and occupant related factors on actual energy use of six case study dwellings, located in three new low energy social housing developments in UK, covering a variety of built forms and construction systems (timber frame, hempcrete, steel-frame). Physical monitoring of indoor environment and window-opening is cross-related with building fabric and systems’ performance, and qualitative data gathered through occupant surveys, review of control interfaces and handover guidance, to understand the causes of the gap between modelled and measured energy use. Actual energy use is found to exceed design expectations by a factor of three, questioning the need for whole-house mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems at measured air permeability rates of 6m³/(h.m²) against the design target of 3m³/(h.m²). Lack of proper commissioning of MVHR and heating systems, combined with inadequate user comprehension about their operation and control leads to occupant ‘misuse’ wherein systems are de-activated, thereby negatively affecting indoor air quality. This is confounded by occupant factors related to higher demand temperatures, unexpected opening of windows during winters due to under-performance of MVHR combined with habitual behaviours, and over-use of heating systems to compensate for higher than expected air permeability.

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Authors

Gupta, Rajat
Kapsali, Mariam
Alastair Howard, Alastair

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Architecture

Dates

Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-06-29


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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