Nearer to closing the gap

I’ll be attending the Zero Carbon Hub’s ‘Nearer to Zero’ event at the Royal Society in London tomorrow, where the Hub’s ‘End of Term’ report for CLG will be launched, summarising the findings of the ‘Design vs As-built performance gap project’, which has been running over the last year or so.

The project has received a high level of support, with participation from across the industry (over 140 industry experts from 90 companies), including designers, house builders, manufacturers, energy assessors, thermal modellers, accreditation schemes, trade associations and professional bodies, testing houses, LABC & NHBC, the BRE, BBA, DECC and CLG.

One of the key things to take from the whole process is the importance of continuing to work together and communicating better, to help ensure that any performance gaps are closed.

The project has considered a variety of strands of evidence and looked into which have the greatest impact on the performance gap, and hence should receive focus for developing solutions.

One thing that’s sure following the interim report, there is no single cause of a gap, just plenty of areas that could and can be improved upon.  Some of the areas identified may be easy fixes, others will require further investigation to determine just how important they actually are.

Developing solutions will likely require a lot more work for some of the issues identified.

The event tomorrow will see leading industry figures give their response to the report and their view on how the industry moves forward.

The event will also discuss the key implications of the Housing Standards Review and Allowable Solutions, both of which will be crucial to the successful implementation of the zero carbon homes policy from 2016.

I’ve been involved in some of the workgroups that have developed the report and it’s been a very interesting experience overall, looking at a variety of viewpoints and issues that may lead to gaps in achieved performance.  I’ll look forward to being able to give my own views on some of the issues raised in the report in future posts or tweets. @KingspanIns_UK

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Jon Ducker is a qualified energy assessor working for Kingspan Insulation Ltd. He has an extensive knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy systems and sustainability in buildings with an expert knowledge of the relevant sections of buildings regulations and standards and their interactions with SAP. He provides authoritative advice regarding energy assessments for a wide range of public and private sector clients.

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