This paper presents a systematic, socio-technical and empirical evaluation of the actual energy and environmental performance of a sustainably-designed institutional building (Southeast England), intended to be a teaching tool and ‘living laboratory’ of sustainability. Despite the building being designed to high sustainability standards (Energy Performance Certificate rating of A, low reliance on fossil fuels, natural ventilation and rainwater harvesting) and also being under-utilised during the in-use stage (lower hours of occupation and number of occupants), its actual energy-related carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions are four times more than predicted. This is due to poor energy management of the building, underperformance of the biomass boiler and wasteful energy practices in terms of excessive winter overheating in the atrium, inappropriate lighting controls, and electrical equipment being left on standby. Due to lack of training and understanding of the energy manager, the building management system was not used adequately and issues with installation, commissioning and maintenance of the biomass boiler led to its disuse; however the photovoltaic system generated electricity as expected. Findings from the study show how a mixed-methods approach of building performance evaluation (BPE) should be embedded as part of the build process, to ensure that performance outcomes are met in reality.
Gupta, RGregg, M
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Architecture
Year of publication: 2016Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-06-12