State of the Nation

‘State of the Nation’ is a major study that was funded by the Building Performance Network (an organisation which Veritherm is an active member of) to review how new houses perform and the Building Performance Evaluation methods. Professor Rajat Gupta and Matt Greg of Oxford Brookes University conducted this survey, and the results were released last year. This survey was carried out largely due to the UK’s legal commitment to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.There is an increased demand for low carbon and zero energy dwellings, but as it has extensively been published in the past, these buildings often underperform compared to their designed specification.

Line of terraced houses

The results concluded that building fabric thermal performance varied depending on the type of building. It showed that masonry buildings had the biggest performance gap in terms of airtightness, external wall U-value and whole building heat loss. Doors and/or windows are now thought to be a common reason why the performance gap is high throughout the industry (84% of the buildings tested for this survey) suggesting that detailing, specification, and workmanship all need to be improved and reduce thermal bridging. The survey also highlights that ‘junctions and joints’ and ‘roof, eaves and loft space’ are additional areas that require attention.

On the subject of ‘future landscape of housing performance’, low-cost non-invasive building fabric performance tests will be recommended to assess the thermal performance of building fabric, energy demand profiles and resident health and wellbeing. As there is no standard tool or method of assessing the as-built performance, a range of them were used to do conduct the survey. The need for standardised testing solution is where Veritherm’s scalable deployment and rapid measurements can step in.