BSRIA is delighted to announce that it is working in collaboration with the EU on a Horizon 2020 research project titled Built2Spec which was launched in 2015 and fundamentally aims to reduce the gap between the design and build performance of a building.
The B2S project aims to deliver the ambitious objective of meeting the EU energy efficiency targets by reducing the energy performance gap for both new buildings and retrofits. This is being done through technological advances by development of innovative on-site quality assurance tools.
The energy performance gap in buildings needs to be minimised to – a) achieve the 20 per cent energy efficiency target by 2020; b) to reduce energy-related costs for building occupants; c) to ensure the buildings perform as designed.
In order to achieve this, the B2S project will deliver a new set of “breakthrough technological advances“ such as: 3D and imagery tools, building information modelling (BIM), smart building components, energy efficiency quality checks, indoor air quality tools, airtightness test tools, thermal imaging tools and accoustic tools: all of which will be connected to a virtual construction management platform (VCMP) supporting the collection and sharing of all project data, from initial design to delivery.
A specific task that BSRIA has been chiefly involved with is in determining the requirements to integrate the thermal inspection techniques with the VCMP system by looking at the technology involved, training specifications, systems operation and identifying potential limits of these techniques for both now and in future.
The idea is to create a platform for a construction worker with limited training and technical expertise to perform quality checks using a thermal imaging camera. The results will then be uploaded on the VCMP system so that the progress of construction could be easily monitored by the technical expert, manager and the client by way of creating a thermal imaging self-inspection system. Along with this BSRIA has also been closely involved to provide substantial inputs on the development of the air tightness indoor air quality checks in buildings.
Divya Deepankar, Research Engineer, BSRIA Sustainable Construction Group, said:
“BSRIA is delighted to be working with the EU on this exciting research project that aims to reduce the gap between the design and build performance of a building. This project is in sync with BSRIA’s goals and fully supports one of our key strategic ambitions. The crucial outcome of the project is an online virtual construction management platform with integrated tools which will reduce the gap between client/customer and the expert.
It is great that the scheme is an example of virtual management in the construction sector for all those involved.
In essence: it is essential that the health of the building is checked on a consistent basis during construction. The Built2Spec project certainly addresses this.”
The UK construction industry has long been faced by the problem of the difference between energy consumption of a building assessed during the design stage versus how it actually performs in operation aka the “performance gap”. The energy performance gap in buildings is the difference between the predicted energy performance of a house and its performance as-built.
The difference accumulates through the design and operation stage and may result in buildings using up more than double their expected energy. The performance gap issues can occur at one or more of the following stages- briefing, design stage, construction, commissioning, handover, in-use post occupancy.