Post-occupancy evaluation


The Scottish Parliament which cost £348 million emits more than 140 kg CO2 / sqm

There are dozens of buildings now with very high aspirations for sustainability in general and energy use or CO2 emissions in particular. However, most of these buildings fail to deliver the hoped-for figures for gas and electricity use, and the energy provided by renewables is often below expectations.

CAR has examined many buildings - housing, schools, government buildings, hospitals, offices and retailers - to find out the truth about energy use and climate change emissions. If there is a shortfall between what actually happens in a building, and what was intended by its designers or owners, we try to track down the reasons why, and give recommendations about how to improve matters.

This sort of 'post-occupancy evaluation' can be tremendously valuable for building owners in understanding their buildings, for designers in learning from past projects, and for those managing a large estate of buildings to ensure that every new building improves on those that went before. Now that sustainability is so important in planning circles, it can also be a persuasive tool for developers in gaining planning consent: what better proof that you can build a low carbon building than robust evidence about your last project?