Mind the Gap

There is a big danger that Welsh housing is under performing in terms of its warmth, efficiency and low carbon ratings – basic factors that as an industry Welsh construction needs to address.

18th September 2014

Fundamental to this is a growing realisation that homes designed to meet current and future standards of energy performance may fall short of expectations. This was brought into sharp focus by the then Minister responsible for Building Regulations, the Rt. Hon Don Foster MP when he spoke at EcoBuild in 2013. Yesterday almost 50 people attended a South West Wales Best Practice Club and Zero Carbon Hub event to discuss the findings of the report Don Foster championed to find out what the performance gap actually is, why it matters and what can be done about it.

Why is there a performance gap? This gap might arise in a number of ways within the overall house-building process and, if significant and widespread, may constitute a considerable risk. 

Why is closing the gap important? A gap in a building’s performance would mean that new housing cannot be relied upon to play its expected role in the national carbon reduction plan. For owners and occupants, energy bills may be higher than expected, undermining buyer confidence in new (low carbon) homes. For these reasons, even though the origin, size and extent of the gap have not been precisely identified to date, its investigation is seen as a high priority by government and by a wide spectrum of interest groups across the sector.

To help close the gap between design and as‐built performance, the Zero Carbon Hub is leading a major project that collaboratively engages industry and government in seeking and implementing solutions.  Follow our links to find out about the findings of the Closing the Gap Between Design and As-Built Performance Evidence Review ReportClosing the Gap Between Designed and As Built Performance - End of Term report and what the Zero Carbon Hub is doing.