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ST NICHOLAS COURT
A Trial of Dwelling Energy Performance Standards for 2008:
The St. Nicholas Court Field Trial


St. Nicholas Court

This project examined whether an energy performance standard similar to the 1995 Swedish regulations could reduce space heating and associated CO2 emissions in new UK dwellings by 80% compared with those built to the then current standards, while guaranteeing affordable warmth and dramatically reducing fuel poverty in new housing. Such a standard could in principle form the basis for future revisions to the UK Building. Its implementation would face a number of barriers. The construction industry would need to be convinced that the standard was workable, that costs were proportionate to the objectives and that the risk of building failures and defects was acceptable. Equally, Government would need to be satisfied that health, safety and comfort would not be compromised.

The St Nicholas Court Field Trial was set up in 1999, with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Housing Corporation and from the DETR under the Partners in Innovation Programme, to address these issues. The project sought to comprehensively evaluate the impact of an enhanced energy performance standard in the context of a development of 18, timber-framed houses built at St Nicholas Court for York Housing Association by Wates Construction Ltd.

The project was not intended to push the boundaries of technical performance, but to explore the implications of achieving significant improvements in the energy and environmental performance of mainstream housing. The principal outputs from the project were:
• a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the standard on all participants - client, architect, contractor, site construction team, principal up-stream suppliers, building control officers and crucially, dwelling occupants;
• detailed assessments of construction costs, energy performance and air quality in the field trial dwellings.

Publications

Developing future UK energy performance standards:
St Nicholas Court Project FINAL REPORT


Developing future UK energy performance standards:
St Nicholas Court Project EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Lowe, R.J., Bell, M. and Roberts, D. (2003), Developing future energy-performance standards for UK housing: the St Nicholas Court project – Part 1. Structural Survey, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 119-130

Lowe, R.J., Bell, M. and Roberts, D. (2003), Developing future energy-performance standards for UK housing: the St Nicholas Court project – Part 2. Structural Survey, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 206-215

Wingfield, J., Johnston, D. and Miles-Shenton, D. (2004), Air Leakage Test Results for St. Nicholas Court (Fieldside Place) Development, York. Centre for the Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds