The Energy Usage Assessment Project
Location East Midlands, United Kingdom
Team Amrutha Kishor, Tricia Akers (Allan Joyce Architects) & Sara Saadouni (Allan Joyce Architects)
Awards Shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President's Award for Research 2019 (Design + Technical Category)
Publications RIBA Book of Abstracts 2019
Photo credits Allan Joyce Architects
The Energy Usage Assessment Project was initiated by Allan Joyce Architects, United Kingdom to form a deeper understanding of how houses designed by the firm in the last 20 years perform in terms of energy usage.
Seven houses designed by the architecture practise from 1998 until 2019 were studied in detail. The data from the residents’ energy bills were cross-referenced with the predictions made with the software SefairaPro and from energy reports made at the time of design. Results indicated that the predictions did not match the actual energy usage. The difference in the amount of energy predicted and used has been termed as Energy Performance Gaps.
This study determines the underlying reasons for these gaps. An account of how energy was used in these seven houses was made by means of personal interviews.
The main factors considered in the study were occupancy pattern, heating systems and usage, lighting profile and usage, and appliances profile and usage.
The study found that the main reasons for the creation of energy gaps between the predicted and actual values were the discrepancies in occupant usage and patterns of energy consumption.
This study is particularly useful for energy-conscious architectural firms to fine-tune the approach to analyzing the energy performance of buildings. As the findings reveal that energy usage in homes varies based on the way residents use the space, it helps deduce the most efficient technological combinations to reduce energy use.
This information can, therefore, be used to set guidelines for future policies and regulations related to energy consumption in homes.
This study can also be used by the developers of simulation software to understand how architects use their product. The insights gleaned from the study can drive improvements in its future versions.