A building’s performance (or efficiency) is a measure of how well it functions in relation to designated criteria such as physical, social or environmental considerations, writes Designing Buildings Wiki (DBW) – host platform for the IHBC’s Conservation Wiki – as it features guidance on how a building’s physical efficiency can be evaluated, and how to measure whether the resources necessary to design and construct a building have been used effectively.
image DBW website
Designing Buildings Wiki writes:
Assessments can be made for all building types and are particularly important in housing. Concerns about how buildings perform date back at least as far as Neolithic times. Cave dwellers would assess their habitat against criteria such as; shelter from the elements, safety against animal attack, conspicuity, and solar orientation. Similar concerns have preoccupied people ever since, but the list has grown with increasing construction complexity and tighter regulatory requirements…
… Today building performance might be assessed against criteria including:
- Sustainability (are the materials environmentally friendly? How much energy is used to heat/cool the building? How well does the building fabric retain heat (linked to insulation levels and glazing performance)? Is the building water efficient (does it include grey-water recycling)?
- Comfort – can air temperatures, humidity and ventilation achieve a healthy environment?
- Ecology – is there a negative or positive impact on habitats?
- Acoustics – does noise generated by activities in the building adversely affect neighbouring buildings or spaces and vice versa?
- Running costs – how much does it cost to run the building?
- Water tightness – are roofs and openings capable of keeping out rain and other sources of moisture?
- Layout – does the building optimise privacy, sunlight, views, occupant circulation and so on?
- Occupant satisfaction – are the occupants satisfied with the overall resolution of the design?
- Accessibility – is the building easy to use by people with disabilities? Is it safe and secure?
- Society – does the building integrate with and contribute to the local community?
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki:
- Air tightness in buildings
- Building performance evaluation.
- Building performance evaluation v post-occupancy evaluation.
- Building performance metrics.
- Buildingrunning costs
- Carbon footprint
- Energy performance certificates
- Energy use
- Environmental impact
- Heat loss
- Heat transfer
- Insulation specification
- Performance gap
- Solar heat gain coefficient
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