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Ensuring Energy Efficient Buildings

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The role of information feedback in low energy building design, construction and management Craig Robertson, PhD Candidate, UCL Energy Institute

This talk describes explores the set of ‘contextual pressures’ within which building designers, builders and managers work throughout the building procurement and management process, and explores the way that actors interact with the contextual pressures, how the pressures influence decisions and ultimately building energy consumption. Suggestions are then made on ways in which legislation could be directed to achieve meaningful reductions in energy consumption. Recommendations are made for adjustments to the framework to increase participation in meaningful building evaluation targeted at specifics of the energy gap and the motivations of industrial actors.

Craig Robertson is an ARB registered architect with over 8 years experience in industry, he is currently studying for a PhD at the UCL Energy Institute and is a founding partner of APE ; an architecture, research and design practice. Craigʼs research stems from a frustration with current energy legislation relating to the built environment. His work seeks to develop and test effective means of introducing energy data and building characteristic information into the design, construction and management process.

Post-construction performance testing Samuel Stamp, PhD Candidate, UCL Energy Institute

Evidence suggests a performance gap between actual energy use and design intent exists. To ensure carbon reduction targets are met within the built environment this performance gap needs to be addressed. In the domestic sector a series of post-construction tests are being developed to look specifically at the building fabric. These tests have so far revealed further evidence of significant underperformance. It is therefore important a suitable set of tools exists to examine performance and provide feedback across the design and construction phases. These in situ testing methods will be discussed along with examples of their findings. In particular a method of examining whole building heat loss will be explored.

Sam Stamp completed a four-year MSci in Physics at the University of Bristol in 2009. Covering a range of areas this degree programme culminated in a project exploring the potential for small-scale ‘tidal stream’ technologies in the tidal creeks that exist in the Bristol area. This work on small-scale energy generation led to a position at LIRE , the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy, in Southeast Asia. Sam returned to the UK in 2010 to begin a Master in Research (MRes) and later a PhD at the UCL Energy Institute as part of the ESPRC funded Doctoral Training Centre in Energy Demand. A dissertation on the error and uncertainty in coheating was the major element of this year in preparation for a full PhD. This included coheating tests of both the Barratt Green House and the Camden Passivhaus by Bere architects as well as controlled testing in UCL ’s Thermal laboratory.

Liability for energy performance problems Kim Bouwer, PhD Candidate, UCL Energy Institute

This talk explores the potential for legal liability in relation to buildings with a ‘performance gap’, and the recourse available for owners of domestic buildings with energy performance problems. It questions how energy performance warranties are included or excluded from building contracts, and examines whether there is a legal duty on design/build teams to ensure buildings meet energy performance targets. Finally, the talk questions litigation costs and access to justice concerns presents additional barriers to civil recovery in these circumstances.

Kim joined the UCL Energy Institute in November 2011. Her research explores the extent to which remedies in tort support or undermine legislative and policy initiatives, to reduce carbon consumption in domestic buildings. Before joining UCL , Kim worked as a lawyer, conducting human rights and public interest litigation. Kim previously taught Property and Contract Law at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg. She is currently employed as a Teaching Fellow at UCL Laws.

This talk is part of the Sustainability in the Built Environment (GreenBRIDGE) series.

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