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Building performance in the context of industry pressures

Craig Robertson (UCL Energy Institute, University College London, London, UK, and)
Dejan Mumovic (Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, London, UK)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




This paper aims to explore the relationship between designed and actual building performance as represented in an Royal Institute of British Architects- and Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers-backed web-based comparison platform and the industry perception of the pressures surrounding building performance assessment. European directives and UK Parliamentary Acts have resulted in a range of mechanisms aimed at encouraging monitoring of energy consumption, responsive management and evidence-based design. Web-based feedback platforms aim to feed evaluation data back to industry anonymously; however, there exists a range of barriers and disincentives that prevent widespread and habitual engagement with building evaluation.


Using energy data from the CarbonBuzzweb platform and a series of semi-structured interviews, a mixed-methods study has been carried out. Analysis of the characteristics of the existing energy discrepancy between designed and actual performance shows where variance typically occurs. Interviews with industry actors presents a synopsis of the perceived and actual legislative and procedural pressures that exist in relation to building performance assessment.


The conclusions of this paper identify weaknesses in the current legislative and incentivisation mechanisms with regard to targeting building energy performance and industrial pressures that hinder broader industry engagement with post-occupancy evaluation.


The recommendations arising from this study are for adjustments to the existing legislative framework to increase participation in meaningful building energy evaluation targeted at the specifics of the energy gap and the motivations of industrial actors. This will specifically help to reduce building energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.



This study is part of the main author’s PhD research which is funded by the EPSRC. The authors are also grateful to the CarbonBuzz consortium for access to their database.


Robertson, C. and Mumovic, D. (2014), "Building performance in the context of industry pressures", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 527-543.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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