"This culture of post-construction disengagement needs to change and the industry needs to recognise under performance". [this comment piece first appeared in AJ, June 2013]
The Architects’ Journal Bridge the Gap campaign is a timely effort to mobilise architects and the wider industry to address the under performance of so many of our buildings.
Many architects are unaware of large disparities between new buildings’ predicted performance and their actual performance. Most architects probably do not even know what the predicted energy use is of the building they designed because modelling is outsourced to other consultants, let alone what the actual energy use turns out to be. Usually architects do not return to evaluate their buildings once they are commissioned and occupied. The majority of architects are not particularly interested in finding out about their buildings’ performance, nor do they usually get paid to do this. One reason may be that PII providers do not encourage it. Why go back to evaluate your design when you may find problems and get sued? The addition of an ‘In Use’ workstage in the new RIBA Plan of Work is a step in the right direction.
This culture of post-construction disengagement needs to change. The industry as a whole must recognise this underperformance. The ‘design-modelling- construction- in-use’ feedback loop is invaluable because it allows us to reflect on our mistakes. This learning process – both individually and, if made public, can prevent the repetition of mistakes.
Let’s also be honest. If a building does not perform as predicted, we tend to hide this news in silence. I applaud the Bridge the Gap campaign as a way to encourage transparency and promote awareness and industry-wide learning about the performance gap. We need to get over the constant burying of underperformance in silence.
“Saving energy in buildings: why does context matter?” - LoLo Energy Demand in Buildings Conference 2013 - Nov 22nd
Following on from Bordass and Leaman's masterclass in June 2013, the London Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy demand is bringing together research students on November 22nd 2013 to discuss "saving energy in buildings: why does context matter?".
We are looking for poster and presentation abstracts from research students - submission deadline September 23rd. More info on flyer below and on the Lolo website.
You can also already register for attendance (Prof Bob Lowe, Prof Kevin Lomas and Jez Wingfield are confirmed speakers) - the event is FREE to research students.
PDF flyer for download.
Download the full interim report / executive summary and appendices here.
Nothing surprising so far; with the following issues identified:
designed energy / carbon performance".
A final report will be issued in March 2014.
This is Sofie's blog; or rather a collection of musings & articles sometimes also published elsewhere. More about Sofie here.