Journal Article


Integrated testing of building fabric thermal performance for calibration of energy models of three low-energy dwellings in the UK

Abstract

This paper presents the methodology and results of in situ testing of building fabric thermal performance to calibrate as-built energy models of three low-energy dwellings in the UK, so as to examine the gap between as-designed and as-built energy performance. The in situ tests included repeat testing of air permeability (AP) integrated with thermal imaging survey and heat flux measurements of the building fabric elements, along with concurrent monitoring of indoor temperature during the pre-occupancy stage. Despite being designed to high thermal standards, wall and roof U-values were measured to be higher than expected. Thermal imaging surveys revealed air leakage pathways around door/window openings, penetrations and junctions between walls and ceilings, indicating poor detailing and workmanship. AP was found to have increased after the initial test due to post-completion alteration to the building fabric. Though the results did not meet design expectation, they were within the UK Building Regulations. Calibration of energy models with temperature monitoring provided a less extreme energy performance gap than simply replacing the designed values with test results. Insights from this study have reinforced the need for building regulations to require integrated testing of building fabric as part of housing delivery to ensure performance targets are realised.

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Authors

Gupta, Rajat
Gregg, Matt

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Architecture

Dates

Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-03-03


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


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