University of Bath

Bath Campus Building Energy Performance Evaluation

We evaluated the discrepancy between the predicted and actual energy performance of a building, using the University's buildings

There is often a significant discrepancy between a building's predicted energy performance (its CO2 emissions) and its actual performance. A building's energy requirement can easily be twice that predicted. It can even be between four and seven times more when taking into account the energy used in activities that take place in the building.

These discrepancies arise from a variety of sources such as:

  • initial design and modelling tools used
  • build process and build quality
  • systems integration and commissioning
  • handover and operation
  • understanding, comfort and motivation of occupants

To address these issues, the Technology Strategy Board (now InnovateUK) launched an £8 million programme of intensive building performance evaluation studies.

The aim was to help the construction industry better understand the performance of different building types, design strategies, construction methods and occupancy patterns. The outcomes would also highlight the relative contribution of various factors to the eventual performance of the buildings.

In the first phase, the studies covered nine housing schemes and thirteen non-domestic buildings. Two of the non-domestic buildings formed the Bath campus building performance evaluation study.

The buildings have a combined floor area of 16,000 square metres and cost £40 million to complete. Building 4 West houses office and teaching space across several floors. The construction of 4 West was complex as it involved demolishing a 1960s CLASP building at the heart of the campus.

The second building studied was Woodland Court, a 355-bed student house on the edge of campus. The accommodation has four floors and, in common with 4 West, achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating.

The academic team was led by Andy Shea and worked closely with the design and construction teams from both buildings. The 24-month study was also supported by the University's Department of Estates.

The project's outputs have been reported in academic papers and many data exchange sites. These include the Digital Catapult and Building4Change.

Acknowledgement

The project was funded by Technology Strategy Board (now InnovateUK)