The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is to launch a new research project seeking to identify ways to close the gap between the designed performance of buildings and how they actually perform once built and occupied.
The UK-GBC Steps to 2019 Task Group will seek to tackle the way industry currently designs, constructs and operates non-domestic buildings. It will focus on examining industry approaches, tools and behaviours related to maximising building performance, including how energy is used over time.
The study will work with UK-GBC members to find out what companies are already doing to address the issues surrounding building performance to seek out best practice scenarios and identify issues that need to be overcome across the whole industry.
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK-GBC, said: “I am delighted that UK-GBC members are supporting this important piece of work. Huge cost, carbon and productivity benefits can be gained through a closer focus on the performance of buildings as we design, construct and operate them. Following the COP21 deal, this is just one of the ways in which the UK industry is showing its leadership and ambition.”
The Delivering Building Performance project will be supported by engineering consultancy BuroHappold, building products giant Saint-Gobain and the Tarmac Group. Representatives from all three firms will join a number of others from the real estate and commercial property market to form a steering group for the project to be chaired by Julian Sutherland, design director at Atkins.
Duncan Price, director for sustainability at BuroHappold, said: “Leading clients are looking beyond compliance to realising the multiple benefits of building performance including improved productivity, lower running costs and reduced environmental impact. This collaborative research will guide us all in how to achieve those benefits.”
The project will report in late April 2016 and could provide key advice on how the UK can meet new European standards of energy use set to come into force before the end of the decade. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) will require all new public buildings to be nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) from 2019. This means they will be required to achieve very high energy performance with the consequent low energy demand to be met predominately by renewable sources.