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1 – 10 of over 30000
Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Rajat Gupta and Laura Barnfield

This paper aims to, using a systematic mixed-methods based monitoring and evaluation approach, investigate the unintended consequences of physical and technical home

1893

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to, using a systematic mixed-methods based monitoring and evaluation approach, investigate the unintended consequences of physical and technical home improvements on energy use, indoor environmental conditions and occupant behaviour in community-led retrofits. The study is part of a UK Research Council funded research project on evaluating the impacts and effectiveness of low carbon communities on energy behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

A graduated measurement, monitoring and evaluation framework has been developed and applied to gather quantitative and qualitative data on energy use and behaviours has been developed and applied to 88 households across the UK. A mixed-methods approach is used, including occupant interviews, questionnaires, activity diaries and continuous physical monitoring of energy use, environmental conditions and low-carbon technologies.

Findings

The study has uncovered a number of unintended consequences associated with home energy improvements, both beneficial and detrimental, including improved comfort levels in retrofitted dwellings and reduction in energy use but also an increased likelihood of overheating following fabric improvements, potential under-performance of low-carbon systems due to lack of understanding and inadequate installation and commissioning, along with adaptive energy behaviours leading to increased energy use and a widening gap between predicted and actual savings.

Research limitations/implications

Although 63 case study households are involved, it is difficult to provide statistical analysis from the emerging findings.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates the unintended consequences of home energy improvements. It aims to bring awareness of these issues to various sectors and stakeholders involved in delivering community retrofit programmes or the National Green Deal programme.

Originality/value

The paper fulfils an identified need to study the impacts of home energy improvements within existing homes through a robust, comprehensive M&E approach.

Article
Publication date: 23 November 2010

Pierce H. Jones, Nicholas W. Taylor, M. Jennison Kipp and Harold S. Knowles

This paper seeks to describe a protocol to estimate annual community energy consumption baselines for single‐family detached homes in the Gainesville Regional Utility…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe a protocol to estimate annual community energy consumption baselines for single‐family detached homes in the Gainesville Regional Utility service area of Alachua County, Florida, USA. Further, it details methods using these baselines to make direct comparisons of individual households' energy consumption and evaluate the energy impacts of three prescriptive demand side management (DSM) programs.

Design/methodology/approach

To improve estimates of energy savings, the paper proposes using a “micro” scale multivariate regression methodology based on a census of utility and property appraiser household data.

Findings

Results suggest that traditional analysis approaches are likely to overestimate savings significantly and that the annual community baseline technique provides more consistent estimates of energy savings than most commonly used methods.

Practical implications

This type of analysis could provide a tool that utilities can use to more accurately and cost effectively measure DSM savings. This could result in reduced energy demand related to streamlined program setup and management.

Originality/value

The proposed methodology is unique in that it defines a new household‐level energy consumption baseline measure that we think is a more appropriate performance measure, uses a census of publicly available data for the population of interest, merging metered utility data with property appraiser data, and works upward to construct a simple model for evaluating household‐level energy consumption. The critical element that distinguishes our proposed energy performance measures is that they are calculated and interpreted using annual, population‐level, comparison‐group baselines that effectively normalize for community energy consumption patterns in any given year.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Della Madgwick and Hannah Wood

The current focus on air tight construction to minimise energy use in homes in the UK requires analysis of the behaviour of the occupants. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The current focus on air tight construction to minimise energy use in homes in the UK requires analysis of the behaviour of the occupants. The purpose of this paper is to review current literature and explore the methods used to dry clothes, to assess current standards and recommendation for the drying of laundry in new homes and the issues arising with increased moisture within the building envelope where there may be inadequate ventilation caused by impermeable design.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature is reviewed on new housing in the UK and as part of a wider study of behaviour questionnaires were delivered to occupants of a recently completed housing estate in the UK to ask the questions with regard to their laundry practice.

Findings

There are inherent problems in drying laundry in new air tight homes. This case study identifies 95 per cent of residents on a new estate own a tumble dryer and use either this high energy method for clothes drying or hang clothes internally within the property leading to higher energy use or potential mould growth.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required into how drying laundry impacts on internal air quality in new homes designed to be energy efficient.

Practical implications

The design of new houses needs to be considered to provide a shift in people’s behaviour with regard to low energy clothes drying.

Social implications

Policy and regulation need to be changed urgently to ensure new homes are fit for purpose with regards to laundry drying.

Originality/value

Other research has focussed on tenants in social housing in properties of mixed ages. This is the first study which focusses specifically on new energy efficient housing for owner occupiers.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 34 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2011

Sandy Bond

Improving energy efficiency of buildings and appliances has been shown to be the most cost‐effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this research is…

4673

Abstract

Purpose

Improving energy efficiency of buildings and appliances has been shown to be the most cost‐effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this research is to identify householders' lifestyle choices within homes that impact on energy use and their motivation to conserve energy. The results help to identify methods to increase the uptake of sustainability practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in residential buildings.

Design/methodology/approach

A postal survey was adopted as the quickest and most cost‐effective way of surveying a large sample of householders across Australia. The survey was sent to 2,500 randomly selected residents, 500 in each of the five largest Australian cities by population.

Findings

The results identified that barriers to energy efficiency in households include: larger homes and smaller households; initial costs of sustainable features, and a lack of consumer information about benefits and savings from incorporating energy‐efficient devices. The most common reason why people are not acting in more sustainable ways is inconvenience or laziness.

Research limitations/implications

The response rate was very low and retired persons were over‐represented, as they are the people with more time to answer surveys. Further research is warranted to achieve a larger, more representative sample.

Practical implications

These results will be useful to Government policy makers as they help to identify methods to increase the uptake of sustainable features and energy conservation in homes.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt at a nation‐wide study of residential behavior to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in homes.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 29 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Grainne McGill, Lukumon O. Oyedele and Keith McAllister

Concern of the deterioration of indoor environmental quality as a result of energy efficient building design strategies is growing. Apprehensions of the effect of…

Abstract

Purpose

Concern of the deterioration of indoor environmental quality as a result of energy efficient building design strategies is growing. Apprehensions of the effect of airtight, super insulated envelopes, the reduction of infiltration, and the reliance on mechanical systems to provide adequate ventilation (air supply) is promoting emerging new research in this field. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort investigation in UK energy efficient homes, through a case study investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study dwellings consisted of a row of six new-build homes which utilize mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems, are built to an average airtightness of 2m3/m2/hr at 50 Pascal’s, and constructed without a central heating system. Physical IAQ measurements and occupant interviews were conducted during the summer and winter months over a 24-hour period, to gain information on occupant activities, perception of the interior environment, building-related health and building use.

Findings

The results suggest inadequate IAQ and perceived thermal comfort, insufficient use of purge ventilation, presence of fungal growth, significant variances in heating patterns, occurrence of sick building syndrome symptoms and issues with the MVHR system.

Practical implications

The findings will provide relevant data on the applicability of airtight, mechanically ventilated homes in a UK climate, with particular reference to IAQ.

Originality/value

IAQ data of this nature is essentially lacking, particularly in the UK context. The findings will aid the development of effective sustainable design strategies that are appropriate to localized climatic conditions and sensitive to the health of building occupants.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Grainne McGill, Lukumon O. Oyedele and Greg Keeffe

Energy efficient building design strategies are growing in popularity, promoted through increased awareness of climate change, rising energy prices, global consciousness…

Abstract

Purpose

Energy efficient building design strategies are growing in popularity, promoted through increased awareness of climate change, rising energy prices, global consciousness and a demand for energy security. To aid this design process, assessment tools such as Code for Sustainable Homes (CSHs) and Passivhaus were introduced in the UK. However, it is suggested that these tools prioritise energy efficiency over occupant health through a fundamental lack of attention to indoor air quality (IAQ). The purpose of this paper is to investigate IAQ in selected dwellings built using CSHs level 6, level 3 and Passivhaus homes in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, the investigation consisted of IAQ measurements during summer and winter months, occupant diaries and occupant interviews.

Findings

The results from the IAQ measurements show the recommended maximum level of 1,000 ppm was breached in all three Code 6 and two Code 3 homes, with levels slightly below this limit in the two Passivhaus homes. Measurements found high levels of formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and low levels of relative humidity.

Practical implications

There is a need for the adequate consideration of IAQ in sustainable assessment methods, including the use of mandatory credits to ensure occupant health is not disregarded in the drive towards zero carbon.

Originality/value

These results can be used to recognise areas of improvement in the CSHs and Passivhaus standard, and the design of energy efficient homes in general. Research of this nature is essential to ensure occupant health is not sacrificed through the drive towards zero carbon.

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2021

Adorkor Bruce-Konuah, Rory V. Jones and Alba Fuertes

The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology for estimating scheduled and manual override heating events and heating settings from indoor air temperature and gas…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology for estimating scheduled and manual override heating events and heating settings from indoor air temperature and gas use measurements in UK homes.

Design/methodology/approach

Living room air temperature and gas use data were measured in ten UK homes built to low energy standards. The temperature measurements are used to establish whether the central heating system is turned on or off and to estimate the heating setpoint used. The estimated heating periods are verified using the homes' average daily gas consumption profiles.

Findings

Using this method, the average number of heating periods per day was 2.2 (SD = 0.8) on weekdays and 2.7 (SD = 0.5) on weekends. The weekday mean heating duration was 8.8 h and for weekends, it was 9.8 h. Manual overrides of the settings occurred in all the dwellings and added an average of 2.4 h and 1.5 h to the heating duration on weekdays and weekends respectively. The mean estimated setpoint temperatures were 21.2 and 21.4°C on weekdays and weekends respectively.

Research limitations/implications

Manual overrides of heating behaviours have only previously been assessed by questionnaire survey. This paper demonstrates an alternative method to identifying these manual override events and responds to a key gap in the current body of research that little is currently reported on the frequency and duration of manual heating overrides in UK homes.

Practical implications

The results could be used to better inform the assumptions of space heating behaviour used in energy models in order to more accurately predict the space heating energy demands of dwellings.

Originality/value

Manual overrides of heating behaviours have only previously been assessed by questionnaire survey. This paper demonstrates an alternative method to identifying these manual override events and responds to a key gap in the current body of research that little is currently reported on the frequency and duration of manual heating overrides in UK homes.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Nicola Callaghan, James Sommerville and Nigel Craig

This paper aims to study house builder opinions of energy-efficient homes in the UK. The days of inconsiderate construction methods and disregard for the environment are…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study house builder opinions of energy-efficient homes in the UK. The days of inconsiderate construction methods and disregard for the environment are becoming a thing of the past. If zero carbon (Zc) standards are to be implemented across all new homes within the UK, it is essential that house builders are willing and able to construct such homes to the necessary standards and to the volumes required. Although new generations of low carbon (Lc) and energy-efficient homes are beginning to break into the marketplace, house builders remain reluctant to introduce complex technologies during high effort builds.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings from questionnaire responses provide an indication of the views of house builders relating to the incentives encouraging and barriers preventing them from producing mass market energy-efficient homes.

Findings

This paper has uncovered the views and opinions of house builders relating to energy-efficient homes. The findings provide evidence that the house building industry is not fully engaged with the energy-efficiency concept; that house builders portray an inconsistent level of confidence in their ability to deliver energy-efficient homes; and that Government targets are too ambitious.

Originality/value

The findings within this paper provide an overview of the opinions of house builders relating to energy-efficient homes using statistical analysis.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Daniel Yaw Addai Duah, Kevin Ford and Matt Syal

The purpose of this paper is to develop a knowledge elicitation strategy to elicit and compile home energy retrofit knowledge that can be incorporated into the development…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a knowledge elicitation strategy to elicit and compile home energy retrofit knowledge that can be incorporated into the development of an intelligent decision support system to help increase the uptake of home energy retrofits. Major problems accounting for low adoption rates despite well-established benefits are: lack of information or information in unsuitable and usable format for decision making by homeowners. Despite the important role of expert knowledge in developing such systems, its elicitation has been fraught with challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Using extensive literature review and a Delphi-dominated data collection technique, the relevant knowledge of 19 industry experts, selected based on previously developed determinants of expert knowledge and suitable for decision making was elicited and compiled. Boolean logic was used to model and represent such knowledge for use as an intelligent decision support system.

Findings

A combination of comprehensive knowledge elicitor training, Delphi technique, semi-structured interview, and job shadowing is a good elicitation strategy. It encourages experts to describe their knowledge in a natural way, relate to specific problems, and reduces bias. Relevant and consensus-based expert knowledge can be incorporated into the development of an intelligent decision support system.

Research limitations/implications

The consensus-based and relevant expert knowledge can assist homeowners with decision making and industry practitioners and academia with corroboration and enhancement of existing knowledge. The strategy contributes to solving the knowledge elicitation challenge.

Originality/value

No previous study regarding a knowledge elicitation strategy for developing an intelligent decision support system for the energy retrofit industry exists.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Sally Caird, Andy Lane, Ed Swithenby, Robin Roy and Stephen Potter

This research aims to examine the main findings of the SusTEACH study of the carbon-based environmental impacts of 30 higher education (HE) courses in 15 UK institutions…

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Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to examine the main findings of the SusTEACH study of the carbon-based environmental impacts of 30 higher education (HE) courses in 15 UK institutions, based on an analysis of the likely energy consumption and carbon emissions of a range of face-to-face, distance, online and information and communication technology (ICT)-enhanced blended teaching models.

Design/methodology/approach

An environmental assessment of 19 campus-based and 11 distance-based HE courses was conducted using questionnaire surveys to gather data from students and lecturers on course-related travel: the purchase and use of ICTs and paper materials, residential energy consumption and campus site operations. Results were converted into average energy and CO2 emissions, normalised per student per 100 study hours, and then classified by the primary teaching model used by lecturers.

Findings

The main sources of HE course carbon emissions were travel, residential energy consumption and campus site operations. Distance-based HE models (distance, online and ICT-enhanced teaching models) reduced energy consumption by 88 per cent and achieved significant carbon reductions of 83 per cent when compared with campus-based HE models (face-to-face and ICT-enhanced teaching models). The online teaching model achieved the lowest energy consumption and carbon emissions, although there were potential rebound effects associated with increased ICT-related energy consumption and paper used for printing.

Practical implications

New pedagogical designs using online and distance-based teaching methods can achieve carbon reductions by reducing student travel via residential and campus accommodation.

Originality/value

Few studies have examined the environmental performance of HE teaching models. A new classification of HE traditional, online and blended teaching models is used to examine the role of ICTs and the likely carbon impacts.

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