Leeds Sustainability Institute

Building Fabric Performance



Build Process

New Build

Modern Methods of Construction


Under-Construction Testing

Post-Construction Testing

Forensic Performance Investigation

In-use Energy Consumption

Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Party Wall Bypass

Control Systems



Climate, Environment, Buildings & Energy


In 2011 CeBE has been successful as a partner in several of the Technology Strategy Board’s Building Performance Evaluation Competition projects. These grants were awarded to the developers who co-ordinate the projects monitoring new housing developments. CeBE will be tackling the roles of post construction review investigations, including co heating and air pressurisation tests of the buildings and monitoring the in use performance of the homes. This involves:

  • on completion, reviewing how the developer hands over the building to the occupant and explains the operation of its systems and services so that the occupants then understand how to use them effectively.
  • detailed analyses of the energy the home buildings consume and interviews with the occupants to understand their experience of using the building.

This latest research builds on CeBE’s earlier work, analysing the energy use of homes which began in the 1990s with our links to the York Energy Demonstration project and has led onto field trials for a range of social landlords, mainstream housing developers and exemplar building contractors. We find that buildings do not perform as well as they were predicted to do in their initial design energy model calculations: there is a Performance Gap. We aim to see how construction can close this Performance Gap. We have characterised new energy loss mechanisms such as the party wall bypass heat loss and evaluated ways to reduce such energy losses. This work has led to the changes in the UK Building Regulations Part L – CeBE staff contributed to the review and strengthening of the energy performance targets in the revisions issued in 2002, 2006, 2010 and we are currently working on the forthcoming 2013 regulation changes.

Professor Chris Gorse
Head of Centre for the Built Environment
Director of Leeds Sustainability Institute
Leeds Beckett University
City Campus
Leeds LS2 8AG
Tel: 0113 8126513 Ellen Glover


Professor Malcolm Bell Dr Kangwa
Professor Malcolm Bell Malcolm Bell is Professor of Surveying and Sustainable Housing. He has managed housing renewal and maintenance programmes in a number of local authorities and has over 20 years research experience in surveying and housing. For the last 10 years he has focused on technical and policy issues relating to the development of sustainable housing. Dr Joseph Kangwa Research interests: building refurbishment and conservation, building pathology, effect of macro-physical housing regeneration programmes on housing quality, skill training, impact of knowledge of building form on project management of refurbishment projects, use of agrowaste products as building materials from developing nations.
Professor Chris Gorse Dr David Glew
Professor Chris Gorse Chris Gorse is Professor of Construction and Project Management and Director of Leeds Sustainability Institute. He leads projects in the areas of sustainability, low carbon and building performance and has an interest in domestic new build, commercial buildings and refurbishment. Chris is an established author and has consultancy experience in construction management and law. Dr David Glew David's research interests are around the performance gap between as-built and designed energy efficiency in buildings. This incorporates on site testing of building fabric, dynamic modelling of buildings and the in-use monitoring of energy consumption in occupied buildings. He is also interested in the ramifications of the performance gaps in terms of Greenhouse Gas emissions and performing Life Cycle Assessments on products and processes.
Professor John Bale Dominic Miles-Shenton
Professor John Bale Emeritus Professor since 2009. Principal academic interests: corporate management in construction and construction industry policy. Author of variety of papers and articles on construction management and construction education - most recently an Inclusive Definition of Construction Management for CIOB. Dominic Miles-Shenton Dominic has been particularly involved in the analysis of the relationships between “as-designed” and “as-realised” performance of the new-build housing being constructed on this development and nationwide.
Professor David Johnston Dr Jim Parker
Professor David Johnston Professor Johnston’s research has concentrated on investigating the difference between the predicted and the measured performance of buildings, commonly referred to as the ‘performance gap’. His work in this area has involved developing methodological approaches to assessing the fabric performance of buildings, exploring the techniques that can be used to quantify the size of the ‘performance gap’, identifying the reasons why this ‘gap’ is important and examining the various factors that contribute to the ‘gap’. Dr Jim Parker Jim specialises in the dynamic thermal simulation of domestic and non-domestic facilities with a particular focus on low-energy retrofit and identifying reasons for the gap between as-designed and as-built energy and thermal performance. Jim also has a background in construction and project management and is responsible for co-ordinating a range of internally and externally funded research projects.
Dr Arshad Ahmed Melanie Smith
Dr Arshad Ahmed Experience in the Aerospace, Chemical, Telecoms and Construction sectors, specialising in evaluating the mechanical and physical properties of all types of commercial materials. Worked with metals, polymers, ceramics, glasses, and construction materials (blockwork, bricks, mortars, etc). Consultancy work evaluating the flexural strength of masonry panels under vertical loads. Melanie Smith Melanie’s research interests include studies of thermal insulation and condensation risks in residential properties, including work for the Part L Review. She has authored a book on Building Regulations and access requirements.
Dr Will Barker Tim South
Dr Will Barker Will Barker joined Leeds Beckett University in 2015 following an eight year career in industry working for leading consultancies in the renewable energy sector. He currently works as a senior lecturer in the faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology where he is involved in research and the development of undergraduate teaching in engineering. Tim South Research interests: Sound insulation in buildings, hand-arm vibration exposure, whole body vibration exposure. Teaching interests: workplace noise, human vibration exposure.
John Bradley Dr Anne Stafford
John Bradley Senior Lecturer, Construction & Project Management Group. John has over 25 years experience working in a number of industrial sectors including the international oil and gas industry, distribution and logistics and healthcare. Dr Anne Stafford Anne has a background in Physics and Materials with technical research experience in a number of renewable energy technologies, including solid oxide fuel cells, photovoltaics and heat pumps. Current interests are focussed on technology field trials, performance and energy monitoring, refurbishment strategies and thermal comfort.
David Farmer Professor John Sturges
David Farmer David is primarily involved with assessing the energy performance of buildings, combining in-situ fabric and services test methodologies with data analysis techniques. His work has included building performance evaluation on new and existing dwellings, as well as in-use monitoring projects. He is currently developing a methodology to characterise whole house heat loss as part of his doctoral research. Professor John Sturges John has over 55 years of continuous experience, successively in industry, in academic research and teaching, all devoted to the properties and applications of engineering and construction materials. While at Leeds University he did much externally-funded research and industrial consultancy, including nuclear and aerospace materials. Since joining Leeds Met in 1989, his interests have centred on sustainability and the environmental impacts of materials and energy usage.
Martin Fletcher Dr Andrew Swan
Martin Fletcher The main focus of Martin’s research is the in use monitoring of occupant energy use in thermally upgraded buildings, to better understand the effectiveness of building retrofit strategies. This underpins his PhD research, exploring the sustainability and performance of multi-use sports facilities. Dr Andrew Swan Andrew is a water engineer with over 10 years of post-graduate experience, and a PhD in the field of Sustainable Drainage. He has worked in both Industry and Academia on a range of domestic and international engineering projects, including an extended VSO placement as a Water & Sanitation Engineer in Zimbabwe, Africa.