POE - Why buildings fail


The lessons learnt from POEs already...



Some examples:

1. Incomprehensible controls.

2. light sensors which have not been calibrated correctly with the lights on in broad daylight.

3. The ventilation strategy is not effective as the clear window opening is obscured by depth of the wall build-up; in addition the window restraints have failed due to the weight of the window.


Why existing and newbuild fail to meet energy predictions


  (Energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction are not mutually exclusive but have been listed in this way for clarity)

•  Inaccurate modeling/energy prediction tools

•  Inaccurate assumptions of use

•  Poor construction

•  Insufficient building management

•  Insufficient user training

•  Buildings are seldom tuned-up properly and thus not running efficiently, in particular the following are common:

     - Communication problems between the BMS, UFH and passivent systems

     - Daylight sensors not working or timeclocks inaccurately set and turning lights on during the day

     - Solar hot water systems usurped by boiler controls, or by the unintended use of immersion heaters or over-zealous anti-legionella measures.

     - Poorly understood MVHR systems installed and maintained (maintenance access can be poor too) resulting in inefficient use of the systems.


Why buildings fall short of user / client expectations


•  Overly complex controls, poorly located, giving little or no feedback on performance, causing users to fail to manage their environment

•  Badly communicated design intent towards users and managers, leaving occupants failing to understand how the building works.

•  Natural ventilation strategies are often not working effectively, this can be due to a variety of problems such as:

     - Inadequate openable areas perhaps as a result of not enough openable windows, restricted opening widths due to health and safety regulations, flimsy stays which fail to support windows or the clear opening being obscured by the depth of the wall buildup.

     - Other factors causing the natural ventilation strategy to fail may be lost opportunities for cross ventilation or ventilation via the stack effect,

     - increased occupancy and equipment loads,

     - inadequate shading and nighttime cooling or

     - users who don't understand how to operate the ventilation strategy effectively.

•  Noise is an increasing problem due to more exposed, hard surfaces, open plan offices and a greater proportion of floor space occupied by circulation routes.

•  Not enough storage space- always a tension when trying to squeeze the most out of a limited space but an issue that often resonates with users.

•  Flat-coloured flooring showing-up dirt.

•  Materials corroding due to the use of incorrect cleaning products. An example would be lino is often mistaken for vinyl but is more sensitive to cleaners and strippers with a high pH level.


Next pageHow POEs can help bridge the performance gap


© 2014 Anna Pamphilon of Pamphilon Architects




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