Just seen that the Low Carbon Hub has been tasked with trying to find out why new build does perform as well as expected.
Research has shown that new buildings that are designed to be low carbon etc, and hence assist with the targets for decreasing the UK’s emissions, are up to 100% less efficient than designed.
For many of us in the refurbishment world this is hardly a surprise. The areas in question for New Build are:
Is the energy assessment tool (eg SAP) sufficiently accurate?
Have human error or unrealistic conventions caused incorrect input data?
Is the design overly complex, presenting unreasonable challenges for the construction team?
Is the design information adequate in terms of detail?
Are there fundamental construction quality and skills issues?
Materials and manufacture
Do construction materials and building services perform in practice as laboratory tests predict?
Are substitutions of materials or equipment equivalent in performance?
Are post-construction tests and checks suitably accurate and appropriate?
If we are asking these fundamental questions regarding new build in the UK (and this is the type of building that architects, engineers, builders, project managers, surveyors etc, etc are all actually trained in), what chance does the existing stock have when are faced with these exact same issues with even less appropriate tools and no real training for the mainstream professional?