Mitigating the Energy Performance Gap

Mitigating the Energy Performance Gap

Graduate Project Manager, Jason Crozier, explored the topical issue of the Energy Performance Gap in his recent dissertation, which has been awarded the Construction Dissertation Prize by Oxford Brookes University. International agreements to reduce carbon emissions continue to put pressure on the construction industry to design and build in an environmentally-friendly way. However, recent Building Performance Evaluation studies have highlighted an alarming disparity between the design intents and actual performance of new buildings. The research study investigates this issue and looked into solutions to mitigate the Energy Performance Gap in new build non-domestic properties. The nature of the problem The research studied a range of factors: those that are within the direct control of a project team and those outside their direct scope: Statutory policies and ineffective regulatory bodies Design and technology User Build Commissioning and handover Performance testing Mitigation measures Following extensive research through literature review, qualitative and quantitative research in the form of interviews with a ‘project team’ and surveys, the study concluded that there are multiple reasons for the Energy Performance Gap being such a widespread issue. Jason presented a range of mitigation measures including closer collaboration across professional boundaries, altering the make up of the project team and encouraging the end user to maximise the building’s potential. While some of the suggestions represent a significant statutory shift, others are low scale amendments to professional actions that could lead to critical gains. A few of the suggestions: Engage facilities management team on project team: allow the input early in the project to develop an optimal design Lobby statutory bodies to alter approach: enable freer interpretation of regulatory recommendations  Use of BIM to support...