NEF launches expert guide to help close the performance gap

4th June 2014

The National Energy Foundation has launched an expert guide to help combat the UK’s persistent failure to produce non-domestic buildings that combine both comfort and excellent energy performance; a situation that some regard as a ‘national scandal’.

How Much Energy Does Your Building Use?

The expert guide is an e-book written by Liz Reason, a Trustee at the National Energy Foundation, with Dr Kerry Mashford the Foundation’s Chief Executive, and prefaced by Dame Mary Archer, the Foundation’s President.

It is the latest expert guide in the DoShort Sustainable Business Collection – a series of best practice ‘shortworks’ for professionals. It’s a must-read for anyone with responsibility for any aspect of energy in non-domestic buildings in any stage of the building cycle, including: clients looking to either acquire a new building or refurbish an existing one, those involved in design and construction and building owners, occupiers and operators.

The book was launched at a recent event hosted by Dame Mary Archer on the challenges of delivering low-energy buildings. The event discussed the challenges in delivering buildings with excellent in-use energy performance in the design, construction and operation phases of the building cycle. It also discussed solutions and considered how we can learn from our experiences and close the gap between expectations and performance in the future.

Liz Reason is Managing Director of the Green Gauge Trust, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to mainstream the knowledge and skills for low-energy, low-carbon buildings. She is an expert on energy in buildings, has extensive experience in sustainable energy and is working to develop Green Stripes, a training programme and certification scheme for those with the knowledge to deliver low-energy buildings.

Liz has been a Trustee of the National Energy Foundation since 2006 and she is also a Trustee of SuperHomes. In April 2012, she was appointed to the Knowledge & Skills Working Group of the BIS Green Construction Board. She was on the Development Panel of Octavia Housing from 2010 to 2013, and between 2004 and 2009, she was Director of the AECB’s CarbonLite. During 2009-2010 she helped to set up what is now the Passivhaus Trust, and has been both an adviser and an assessor for a number of Technology Strategy Board buildings competitions. In 2008-2009, she was a member of the government’s Eco-towns Challenge Panel.

Commenting on the book’s launch, Liz Reason said:

“Designing and building low-energy buildings is not difficult; it just needs some basic building physics and a clear, common language for talking meaningfully about energy performance with all those in the building cycle.

“How Much Energy Does Your Building Use? provides easily digestible information and a practical understanding of what makes for a good-quality, low-energy building. It identifies the stakeholders that need to be engaged and also encourages new ways of thinking about how to reduce energy use and costs.”

Kerry Mashford added:

“Improving the use of energy in buildings is the National Energy Foundation’s overarching objective so we’re delighted to be involved with How Much Energy Does Your Building Use? as part of our aim to help the UK build better buildings. The e-book takes a practical and common sense approach and provides a valuable contribution to closing the gap between the expected and actual energy performance in the built environment, as well as the knowledge gap that exists in the sector.”

Readers' reviews

“I enjoyed reading this book – its style made a technical topic easy to relate to and covered building performance issues in a really accessible way.”

Dr Judit Kimpian, Architect, AHR, Project Manager, CarbonBuzz

"I think it’s a very solid book which conveys its message very clearly (much clearer than I’ve ever managed to convey it myself). In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I can’t find a single statement in it to disagree with." 

Keeran Jugdoyal, Mechanical Engineering Manager, Faithful & Gould, Consultants to Marks & Spencer, Cheshire Oaks store

How Much Energy Does Your Building Use? is available from the publisher.