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



  • New build
  • Modern methods of construction
  • Retrofitting existing buildings
  • Refurbishment

Forensic performance investigation

  • Fabric performance
  • Airtightness
  • Party wall bypass
  • Condensation risk

Occupants’ issues (controls and comfort)

  • Post-Occupancy Evaluation
  • System controls

Energy measurement and management

  • Co heating tests
  • In-use energy consumption
  • Smart metering
  • Service performance

Renewable energy

  • Design and installation
  • In-use Performance
  • Control systems

Process and product testing

  • Build process
  • Under construction testing
  • Post construction testing
  • Product development

Resilience and adaptation

  • Flooding resilience of buildings

Other aspects

  • Input to UK and EU Regulations


Caravan Thermal Performance   Caravan Thermal Performance
The aim of this project was to undertake a number of in situ measurements of the thermal performance and airtightness of a small number of new 2016 model fleet hire holiday homes. The in situ measurements were undertaken to enable the heat loss attributable to each holiday home to be disaggregated into its constituent components. All of these measurements were undertaken for Bourne Leisure Limited, on one the largest holiday home park operators in the UK. These measurements were undertaken to enable Bourne Leisure Limited to determine the optimum levels of insulation (and U-values) that should be specified for the main external elements of their fleet hire holiday homes.
Thermal Performance Measurement Report
Saint Gobain   Saint Gobain Energy House: Testing a whole building in a climate chamber
Leeds Beckett University worked with Saint-Gobain and Salford University to establish that whole-house, fabric first retrofitting of homes was able to significantly reduced energy costs, lower CO2 emissions and half the air leakage with a retrofit of thermally upgraded Victorian building. The whole building was constructed and tested in a controlled environmental chamber at Salford University to establish benefits in the overall comfort and wellbeing for the occupants. Forensics and whole building tests of the building were undertaken by the LSI Building Performance team. The project included Saint-Gobain systems from British Gypsum, Glassolutions, Isover and Weber to bring high levels of thermal efficiency to the building fabric. The project was carried out with extensive input from the Group’s global research and development team, Saint-Gobain Recherché.
Saint-Gobain website
Saint-Gobain Energy House Leaflet
    Future Energy Management of Buildings: REMS TSB Research with ASDA
The LSI is working on a two year TSB funded consortium project as part of their Future Energy Management for Buildings programme. The project aims to develop a Retail Energy Monitoring System (REMS) and is led by Cybula Ltd; other partners include ASDA and Centre for Low Carbon Futures. As part of the consortium, the LSI will be carrying out detailed monitoring in specific stores, helping to normalise energy consumption data across ASDA’s portfolio and using dynamic simulation modelling to aid in the development of the monitoring system. The system itself builds upon Cybula’s existing expertise in big data management and will utilise artificial neural networks to identify spikes and abnormalities if energy consumption profiles. The LSI’s work will help these networks to interpret the data which will be analysed for stores which are often heterogeneous in nature and therefore not easily comparable.
Gentoo Passivhaus Development   Technology Strategy Board Building Performance Evaluation Projects
CeBE has been successful in securing over £500,000 of external funding from the Technology Strategy Board as part of their Building Performance Evaluation Programme. This funding has been provided to undertake six post construction and early occupation studies (25% of all of the domestic projects awarded under the Technology Strategy Board Building Performance Evaluation Programme) and two in-use performance and post occupancy evaluation studies.
International Energy Agency: Annex 58   International Energy Agency: Annex 58
Reliable building energy performance characterisation based on full scale dynamic measurement. Update January 2014: Poster available to view for Subtask 2: Optimising full scale dynamic testing.

International Energy Agency Annex 67
Leeds Sustainability Institute's building performance group are taking a lead on the International Energy Institutes Annex 67 project, Energy Flexible Buildings project, with more than twenty participants from across Europe and further afield. The project has commenced its preparatory year, with substantial input from our university, looking into how buildings can contribute and interact with energy networks. CeBE is involved in several aspects of the research work, and is also leading one of three sub-tasks.

  Whole House Heat Loss Test Method (Coheating)
The latest coheating test protocol developed by CeBE.
Elm Tree Mews   Elm Tree Mews
The Elm Tree Mews field trial - Joseph Rowntree Foundation Project Ref No. 805319
CCC – Carbon, Control and Comfort   CCC – Carbon, Control and Comfort
User-centred control systems for comfort, carbon-saving and energy management. The aim is to achieve a 20% reduction in energy use through working more effectively with existing technologies and building fabrics, via the development of control systems which are both convenient to use and appropriate to the needs of users with a variety of lifestyles.
Temple Avenue Project   Temple Avenue Project
Evaluation of design & construction process and measurement of fabric performance of 2 prototype dwellings and the refurbishment of 1 existing dwelling.
The two prototype dwellings contained some technological innovation and were constructed between July and December 2009. One prototype was constructed using thin-joint masonry construction and a second using a structural insulated panel (SIPs) build system.
Low Carbon Housing Learning Zone   Low Carbon Housing Learning Zone
It will be of interest to all individuals who are responsible for designing, constructing and managing dwellings; and of particular interest to those committed to developing low carbon solutions, meeting higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes or aiming for the 2016 Zero Carbon Homes target.
Stamford Brook Retrospective   Stamford Brook Retrospective
The Stamford Brook Energy Performance Project will explore the extent to which a restricted data set, focussing on energy consumption and other key measurements, is able to both provide data on the scale of consumption and also explain the essential characteristics of the consumption pattern and its determinants.
Eurisol Study   Eurisol Study
Study to investigate solutions to the Cavity Party Wall Thermal Bypass. This project attempts to quantify the bypass effect in more detail and also to evaluate whether filling the party wall cavity with mineral fibre insulation will eliminate or significantly reduce the heat loss due to the thermal bypass that operates in most cavity party walls.

The AguaSocial Project
Dr Andy Swan of Leeds Sustainability Institute is achieving high profile success in the Water Sector in Europe and Brazil as Leeds' Principal Investigator of the EU FP7 AguaSocial project.

The AguaSocial Project is a five partner collaborative IRSES project with the Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Italy), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Universidade Federal do Pará (Brazil) and the Universidade do Estado do Amazonas (Brazil) which started in January 2014. This project aims to explore Social Innovation in relation to the Water Sector within the Amazon region of Brazil. See the following link for further details: http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/111055_en.html

AguaSocial should receive approximate 350,000 Euros from the EU over the next four years to fund joint exchange programmes to strengthen research cooperation and knowledge sharing between Brazil and Europe. Andy and partners from Europe and Brazil will be sharing their expertise and knowledge on a range of issues, including: low cost monitoring, environmental protection; socio-economic factors and sustainable development, with a specific emphasis on water treatment and social innovations by local communities (especially vulnerable ones). Such research is becoming increasingly important as populations grow and clean water becomes a scarce resource.

Stamford Brook   Stamford Brook
Evaluating the Impact of an Enhanced Energy Performance Standard on Load-bearing Masonry Domestic Construction Partners in Innovation CI 39/3/663 - BD2324
Harrogate Heat Pumps   Harrogate Heat Pumps
Evaluation of Heat Pump Installations: Extracting Meaning from Existing Data Sets
Air Tightness   Air Tightness of Buildings - Towards Higher Performance
Domestic sector airtightness (C1 61/6/16 BD2429)
Condensation Risk   Condensation Risk
Impact of Improvement to Part L & Robust Details on Part C. (CI 71/6/1 BD2414)
UrbanBuzz – LowCarb4Real   UrbanBuzz – LowCarb4Real
Developing Low Carbon Housing; Lessons from the field - UrbanBuzz Project
St Nicholas Court   St. Nicholas Court
A Trial of Dwelling Energy Performance Standards for 2008
York Energy Demonstration Project   York Energy Demonstration Project
Energy Efficient Modernisation of Housing: A UK Case Study

In common with many energy demonstration projects, the York Project had two main aims. The first was to confirm that the application of readily available technology could deliver significant energy benefits within the context of a routine local authority housing modernisation programme. The second was to extract lessons for the operation of future energy conscious modernisation schemes.
Towards Sustainable Housing   TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE HOUSING:
Building regulation for the 21st century

Report prepared for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Derwentside   Derwentside
A Field Trial of Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery in Local Authority, Low Rise Housing. The Derwentside Project was set up to explore the application of balanced whole-house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery within the existing UK housing stock, through the medium of a field trial of the technology in a small number of occupied dwellings.
Coheating Test Protocol   Coheating Test Protcol
Whole House Heat Loss Test Method
Review of the implementation of Part L 2006   Review of the implementation of Part L 2006
A retrospective view of the working of Part L 2006 to inform the 2010 edition. BD 2702
Fabric Insulation – (Project L1)   Fabric Insulation – (Project L1)
Ways of further raising performance standards for all types of building fabric. (CI 71/6/15 BD2428)
Flood Resilient Construction   Flood Resilient Construction
Improving the Flood Resilience of Buildings through Improved Materials Methods and Details
  Examples of Current & Recent Research 1
  Examples of Current & Recent Research 2
  Housing Field Trials
Fabric Performance Gap   ‘Bridging’ the Fabric ‘Performance Gap’
This is a summary of the results obtained from undertaking a series of coheating tests on two separate Passivhaus developments in the North of England. The coheating tests were undertaken as part of a Technology Strategy Board Building Performance Evaluation post-construction and initial occupation project.
Building Performance Evaluation   Building Performance Evaluation
Building Performance Evaluation, or BPE as it is more commonly known, is the process of evaluating the performance of a building.
Building Performance Gap   The Building Performance Gap: Closing the Loop
Our research group has consistently found evidence that newly built dwellings’ heat loss characteristics exceed their predicted design values. This discrepancy between a dwellings predicted and ‘as built’ heat loss is the Performance Gap.
Heat pumps   Heat Pumps & Low Carbon Energy Technologies
Dr Anne Stafford
International Energy Agency: Annex 58   International Energy Agency: Annex 58
Professor Chris Gorse
Martin Fletcher
Thermal bridging   Assessing the Impact of Thermal Bridging on Building Fabric
Matthew Brooke-Peat
Sports facilities   Understanding the Internal Environment of Multi Use Sports Facilities
Martin Fletcher


Palmer J, Pane G, Bell M & Wingfield J (2011)
Comparing primary and secondary terms analysis and re-normalisation (PStar) test and co-heating test results. A Report to the Department for Communities and Local Government, HMSO, London. ISBN: 978 1 4098 2902 7

Boait PJ, Fana D & Stafford A (2011)
Performance and control of domestic ground-source heat pumps in retrofit installations.

Wingfield J, Johnston D, Miles-Shenton D & Bell M (2010)
Whole House Heat Loss Test Method (Coheating). Centre for the Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University

Wingfield J (2010)
Measurement of Thermal Bypasses, Centre for the Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University

Bell M (2005)
Learning to Tango: Sustainable Development and the Multidisciplinary Dream. In the conference proceedings of The 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference, Tokyo, 27-29 September 2005. http://www.sb05.com

Bell M (2004)
Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings: The Role of Building Regulations. In COBRA 2004 Proc. Of the RICS Foundation Construction and Building Research Conference. Edited by Robert Ellis and Malcolm Bell, London, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Gardner A & Bell M (2004)
Andrew Gardner and Malcolm Bell (2004) Energy Efficiency in Housing: An Evaluation of the importance of increased wall thickness on housing developments. In COBRA 2004 Proc. Of the RICS Foundation Construction and Building Research Conference. Edited by Robert Ellis and Malcolm Bell, London, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Johnston D, Miles Shenton D, Wingfield J & Bell M (2004)
Airtightness of UK Dwellings: some recent measurements. In COBRA 2004 Proc. Of the RICS Foundation Construction and Building Research Conference. Edited by Robert Ellis and Malcolm Bell, London, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Bell M & Overend P (2001)
Building Regulation and Energy Efficiency in Timber Frame Housing. In COBRA 2001 Proc. Of the RICS Foundation Construction and Building Research Conference. Edited by John Kelly and Kirsty Hunter, Glasgow Caledonian University, 3-5 September 2001, London, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Bell M & Lowe R (1999)
Sustainability and the Development of an Energy Efficient Housing Stock: a review of some theoretical issues. In The Challenge of Change: Construction and Building for the new Millennium. Edited by D Baldry and L Ruddock. Proceedings of the Construction and Building Research Conference. University of Salford Sept 1999. London, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Lowe R & Bell M (1998)
Towards Sustainable Housing: building regulation for the 21st century. A report prepared for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Leeds Metropolitan University. This report identified a range of technical, regulatory and policy developments to be pursued to secure a significant reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from dwellings as part of the 2000 & 2005 Building Regulations reviews. Many of the issues raised are just as relevant now as they were when this was published.