Building performance evaluation (BPE) is becoming an important tool for the improvement of building design and operations globally. However, with low energy buildings becoming more complex and clients increasing their interest in the evaluation of the impact of design and technologies on indoor environments, occupant health and productivity, gaps are often found between design expectations and actual performance. Often the causes are not just a result of one factor but due to complex interactions between building fabric, mechanical services and the behaviours of occupants which occur throughout the design, construction and use of a building. Although a few BPE techniques such as the Building Use studies (BUS) questionnaire survey are beginning to be used internationally to evaluate user perception and satisfaction, largely BPE forms a fragmented whole with tools and methods that are not widely applicable.
This paper develops and demonstrates a novel BPE framework to bring consistency and flexibility in evaluating actual building performance. The paper critically reviews and evaluates existing BPE methods and techniques (derived from BPE studies undertaken in UK and elsewhere) and situates them in different building life stages. Using a hierarchical approach, a ‘BPE framework’ is devised for new and existing buildings as well as refurbishments. The framework is designed to have four graduated levels starting at the ‘basic’ level and developing incrementally to ‘core’, ‘comprehensive’ and ‘advanced’ levels. The working of the BPE framework is demonstrated by applying it to four discreet BPE studies to enable cross-comparison of different BPE approaches based on their stage of application, depth and duration of BPE investigations. Such a graduated and flexible framework helps to bring consistency in evaluating building performance in an otherwise fragmented field, to help minimise the performance gap between design intent and actual outcomes and improve building performance.
Gupta, RajatGregg, MattCherian, Rohini
School of Architecture
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