One of the most glamorous events I have managed to attend in the last nine months occurred last Thursday evening. The launch of the CarbonBuzz platform took place at the top of City Hall with some spectacular views as the backdrop to the presentations. CarbonBuzz is a tool aiming to harness building performance evaluation data, some of which was generated through the TSB funding call, and compare it to the design performance of that building.
The platform, aimed to be used by architects, engineers and building and facilities management, allows you to track your building performance over time, benchmark your building energy performance against other building of that type and understand your fuel use by energy end use.
The most interesting bit from the data is the gap between the design and actual energy performance of the buildings and how this varies between sectors. On average they have found that buildings consume 1.5-2.5 times what they are predicted to. This performance gap is particularly large in university buildings with an average predicted energy consumption of 28.1 kg CO2/m2/year versus 80 CO2/m2/year in actual consumption. Part of the reason for this gap is the fact that how people use university buildings varies hugely by department or professor and changes very frequently, so there is no easy fix to reducing energy performance.
This context alone illustrates the important role people play in the energy consumption of buildings. Therefore it seemed appropriate to kick off the CIBSE Young Energy Performance Group Summer Series – Rethinking Energy Performance with a talk titled User Behaviour: Do people matter? on the 19th June. We have three fantastic speakers lined up for this event and many more throughout the summer. The series will run bi-weekly at UCL Energy Institute and we do hope you will join us.