BSRIA ensures performance in Bristol

Dr Sarah Birchall, sustainability engineer at BSRIA
Dr Sarah Birchall, sustainability engineer at BSRIA
Dr Sarah Birchall, sustainability engineer at BSRIA
Dr Sarah Birchall, sustainability engineer at BSRIA

As part of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Carbon Challenge Brief, Barratt Homes contracted BSRIA to conduct a performance evaluation at Hanham Hall to investigate whether the expected standard of energy efficiency is achieved by the “as-constructed and occupied buildings.”

Hanham Hall is a development of 187 new homes built on the site of a former hospital on the outskirts of Bristol and represents a further stage in their development of a specification for modern, energy efficient homes.

Starting in 2012 and continuing into late 2015, the development consists of 185 dwellings in total, comprising a range of house types and a mix of private and social housing.

The dwellings, designed to comply with the zero carbon homes definition, incorporate a number of features that are not commonplace in UK house design including products and systems such as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems, photovoltaics (PV) and solar shading.

The overall objective of the evaluation work BSRIA is undertaking is to demonstrate if the “as-built and occupied dwellings” achieve the predicted design performance. To achieve this, a full evaluation of the process was proposed, through basic investigations for all 185 dwellings and a more in-depth study of a sample of up to ten. The evaluation work includes construction stage assessment, early occupation assessment, occupant satisfaction surveys and face-to-face interviews, energy and environmental monitoring and assessment, and building fabric testing.

Dr Sarah Birchall, sustainability engineer at BSRIA, said: “The results from the dwelling evaluation work undertaken by BSRIA at Hanham Hall have so far been promising. There has been a lot of positive feedback from the residents and the energy data is generally in line with the expected performance. Issues highlighted by the residents are being fed back to Barratt Homes for future design projects and into addressing improvements on site.”

The building fabric testing will be carried out in the sample dwellings late 2015 / early 2016 when weather conditions are more suitable for this type of investigation work. BSRIA will continue with monitoring the dwellings within the development until 2018, with final reporting in 2019.