Building performance evaluation of an office building in the UK – a case study of a university office building

Carter, Beth, Elsharkawy, Heba and Zahiri, Sahar (2017) Building performance evaluation of an office building in the UK – a case study of a university office building. In: International Conference for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment (SDBE 2017); 20-21 Dec 2017, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


The efficiency of office building design has become increasingly important in recent years. This is both due to the negative impact inadequate office building design may have on the built environment due to excessive mechanical heating and cooling systems, as well as the impact of unsatisfactory thermal comfort and poor indoor thermal condition on the occupants' health, wellbeing and productivity at work. With the aim of discovering how the thermal comfort, and energy performance of a modern office building can be improved, a study of an existing office building, at one of the London based universities, and its occupants is carried out. The occupants had already reported several issues with the indoor environment that causes discomfort in summer and winter seasons, hence the significance of the study. An analysis of potential issues reported concerning occupants' thermal comfort and building energy performance is investigated to develop a potential design intervention to improve both aspects. In orderto solve this problem, a quantitative research design has been adopted including three methods for data collection and analysis. Initially an occupant survey is carried out including questions on occupants' activity, comfort and overall experience with the indoor environment. Secondly, data loggers have been placed in the building to record air temperature and relative humidity for one whole year. At a later stage, computer simulation modelling will be used to further explore inefficiencies in the building and the potential interventions to improve the building performance and occupants' thermal comfort. The initial results show that different parts of the building have been deemed uncomfortably warm with a lack of air movement in the summer months and unacceptable cold and draughty in the winter months. This is expected to be due to the lack of adequate natural ventilation in some areas, and the lack of adequate heating and cooling in some rooms.

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