Dr Fionn Stevenson, co-director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development: Low Carbon Building Group at Oxford Brookes University, specialises in sustainable housing design, post-occupancy evaluation of buildings and the improvement of building performance and design through user feedback. Dr Stevenson is currently managing a Building Performance Evaluation project (BPE) as part of a four-year programme funded by the Technology Strategy Board, that will help to deliver better performing, more energy efficient buildings.
Crest Nicholson's award winning Avante development, in Maidstone, has been selected as one of a number of new development projects whose carbon impact is being assessed. As Dr Stevenson explains: "Crest Nicholson has emerged as a real pioneer in terms of advancing sustainable design and construction methods across the industry, and it is one of the first residential developers to include the concept of Soft Landings in its approach. Although government targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 remain a challenge, the key will lie in continual innovation that helps to push the boundaries of sustainable development – both in terms of practice and understanding."
Soft Landings is a programme endorsed by the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) and the Usable Buildings Trust which provides a framework for the briefing, design and delivery of a building. It requires the project team to remain involved after practical completion to ensure that the building meets performance expectations and resolve any outstanding post-occupancy issues. The concept was initially designed for use in the commercial and public sectors, but the focus on operational performance and the conveyance of practical feedback to project teams makes it well suited for adoption by the residential sector.
The Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) study will benchmark the performance of Avante against a number of different housing developments on a national scale, analysing how design strategies, construction methods and, crucially, occupancy patterns can have an impact on the overall energy performance of a building. The objective is to develop a greater understanding across the housebuilding industry, enabling it to more effectively meet the challenges of sustainable development in the future.
Read the Crest Nicholson press release for this project here.
News Item Dated:
22nd March 2011