Measuring Sustainability – a guest blog

By Dr John Littlewood, Sustainability Consultant

aberfawr 1

In 2012, I worked with United Welsh’s Head of Development Gareth Davies to win one of the tranche seven post construction and in-use grants for Y Llaethdy from the Technology Strategy Board, as part of the £8 Million UK-wide programme for Building Performance Evaluation (BPE).

Y Llaethdy is a low impact and partially low carbon micro-community of 13 households (9 flats and 4 houses) off Aberfawr Terrace in Abertridwr. It is owned by United Welsh and was built in 2010 by Green Hill Ltd. The houses and flats were designed and built to Development Quality Requirement (DQR) standards and levels three and four respectively of the code for sustainable homes. Eight of the flats were built to low carbon and low impact standards following funding from DECC.

Since we won the funding in 2012, we have been monitoring the performance of all the properties to measure how sustainable they are.

Aberfawr 2

As part of this work, we have interviewed tenants about their experiences of living at Y Llaethdy, as well as the design and delivery team on the design and construction intentions for the project. We have also been monitoring the climatic conditions, internal conditions and energy use in four properties since July 2013.

Electricity use is around 20% down on standard properties

Electricity use is around 20% down on standard properties

We are doing this to better understand how the properties perform in comparison to an ever changing climate; whether and how building design and heating and ventilation system design intentions have translated into construction and operation; and how occupants behave and use their homes.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the performance of Aberfawr Terrace until September this year, with the results used to establish new standards of building performance.

Watch this space!

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