Building Performance Evaluation of Bryan House

Building Performance Evaluation of Bryan House

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The Bryan House scheme has been identified as an exemplar eco development promoting the Eco-Bicester brand. Modern and innovative construction methods have been selected comprising lightweight steel frame construction with pre-insulated panels. A fabric first approach was adopted for all 23 dwellings. All dwellings have MVHR with summer bypass mode and thermal sensors. Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) supply 100% heating and hot water to the case study dwellings and along with PV help achieve the 70% carbon reduction target. The case study dwellings have achieved an ‘As designed’ Dwelling Emission Rate of 11.53 kgCO2/m²/year and attained a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 certification with 70% reduction in CO2 emissions. The evaluation of an 88m2 two storey terrace house and a 123 m2 three-storey terrace house is being conducted under the Technology Strategy Board’s Building Performance Evaluation programme.

Sanctuary is working in partnership with the Low Carbon Building Group of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University to monitor the energy and environmental performance of the buildings. Residents play a key role in the programme, providing feedback on the use of the features and the living conditions they create.


The post-construction and initial occupation study will be carried out over a period of 4 months. This includes the physical tests, inspections and information review along side occupant surveys.

  • DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION AUDIT – Review of specification, procedures etc., SAP review, ‘as designed’ against ‘as built’ comparison, design team interviews, report
  • CONSTRUCTION STAGE – Occupancy agreements and ethics agreement
  • POST CONSTRUCTION STAGE AND EARLY OCCUPANCY – air permeability tests, infra-red thermographic tests, in-situ u-value measurement, smoke based air leakage tests, evaluation of handover and user guide, commissioning processes review, measurement of performance and energy se of MVHR systems as detailed on the costings/timeline. Review of systems design and implementation.
  • ANALYSIS – Interviews, walkthroughs separately with both occupants and design team, photographic survey, occupant satisfaction questionnaire input and analysis, results


As there is a growing evidence for the energy underperformance of low carbon houses in the UK the need to uptake the lessons learned from the relevant studies is imperative if a change is to be made. Through the findings of the Bryan House scheme the following recommendations are drawn for councils, developers, house builders and equipment suppliers, affecting the design and construction stage of a new housing development.

  • Providing more adequate and easily accessible space for services in the initial design as well as installing more intuitive and easy to use control interfaces would be the first step for the improvement of the design of low carbon housing.
  • The case study experience has revealed faults and omissions during construction.
  • Greater co-ordination from first-fix onward between trades should be encouraged and need for better management, control and constant feedback loop between the different parties related to the project from its initial conception till the period after the handover.
  • Additionally, the design drawings and energy calculations should be carefully updated to reflect any changes in all design stages.

It is vital that these evidence-based lessons on the as built performance of new low carbon housing are taken on board on an iterative basis and embedded into knowledge management systems of councils, developers, house builders, designers and equipment suppliers.

For more information visit our webpage

Project funder:
Technology Strategy Board

Project partners:

  • Sanctuary Green Technologies
  • David J Stewart Associates
  • Kate Mansfield Eco
  • Mansell Construction
  • Faithful and Gould
  • Cherwell District Council

Project Duration:
2012 – 2013


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