Research at Leeds Beckett
Professor David Johnston
About Professor David Johnston
David is a Professor of Building Performance Evaluation within the Centre of the Built Environment, Leeds Sustainability Institute. He has over twenty years experience of applied and theoretical research and consultancy in low carbon housing and is a leading expert in coheating testing and building performance evaluation. His work on low carbon housing has been varied and wide ranging, encompassing theoretical and strategic explorations of climate change targets, their implications for the design and management of the built environment, detailed empirical work on the potential for carbon emission reductions in new and existing housing and detailed evaluations of the fabric and services performance of domestic buildings.
Over the years he has led and managed numerous field trial projects in both new and existing dwellings, involving detailed in-use monitoring of energy consumption and the analysis of occupant behaviour. He is also the co-author of numerous publications. In 2008, he was awarded the CIBSE Carter Bronze Medal in recognition of the best research paper relating to application and development.
David Johnston teaches on a wide variety of Built Environment courses including: Architectural Technology, Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying and Construction Management. Specific areas include: construction technology, building science, airtightness and thermal bridging, building services, low carbon housing and building performance and evaluation.
In recent years, 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’. Professor Johnston’s work in this area has involved developing methodological approaches to assessing the fabric performance of buildings (for instance, development of the Coheating Test Method – see Johnston, D. Miles-Shenton, D. Farmer, D. and Wingfield, J. (2013)), 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’. He has also been successful in securing over £500,000 of external funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) as part of their Building Performance Evaluation Programme. This funding has been provided to undertake six post construction and initial occupation studies (25% of all of the domestic projects awarded under this programme) and two in-use performance and post occupancy evaluation studies. The findings from his work are being used by clients, contractors and developers to inform their design and construction practices and help them understand how they can begin to close the gap between design intent and as-built performance. The results of his work are also being used at policy level to inform future revisions of the Building Regulations.
Specific research interests include: low carbon housing, sustainability and the built environment, climate change and energy use, building airtightness, building performance and evaluation, coheating testing, energy and environmental monitoring of buildings, building regulations and energy and carbon dioxide emission modelling of the UK housing stock.