The comfort dimension when evaluating the discrepancy between predicted and actual energy performance in new school buildings Dr Andrea Wheeler, Dr Masoud Malekzadeh and Professor Dino Bouchlaghem Loughborough University, School of Civil and Building Engineering, email: email@example.com. Introduction 3. Results No because it’s bigger... There’s more computers, projectors, interactive whiteboards... (But on the other hand you have betterWhy do modern building designed for energy efficiency, using Our nascent approach to post-occupancy assessment windows that keep heat in?) But you can’t open them and you getmodern simulation prediction tools, frequently fail to perform as research provided essential clues to the factors contributing too hot... But then you have air conditioning. But you only have itintended? Why is the difference between predicted and actual to the difference between the actual and predicted in ICT but when you do it’s nice and cool and then it gets too coldenergy use of schools so high? The object of the PostOPE performance of new buildings. Feedback methods are, by [different voice]. In normal classrooms you have this thing thatresearch project this poster describes was to, not only brings air in form outside, but if it’s hot outside it’s just bringing in their very nature, ways to continuously learn about theunderstand this difference, but determine a way to assess this hot air. energy performance of buildings and to understand people’sdifference. Our emergent POE approach combined different behaviours in relationship to those buildings. Just by virtue of Sometimes they [the classrooms] are really warm and theassessment methods and included methods used for their new environments different ideas towards energy windows don’t open. None of the windows open. Only theresearching with children. efficiency will emerge and it is important that schools can act lower ones. In the summer it’s really hot” (Year 7 pupil.)Early on in the research to reinforce emerging lifestyles. Researcher 1: “Are there things you think the architect couldit was recognized that have done better?” “Just the windows.” (final session)achieving this aim The dialogue of children and other users of the buildingmeant ensuring the provided clues to the factors contributing to the difference The project aimed toperspectives of all users between the actual and predicted performance of new inform design practice ofof the buildings – buildings. Whilst more and more buildings are achieving relevance to architects,including children – were higher energy efficiency ratings, efficiency improvements are engineering consultants,involved. It was expected to be offset by lifestyle factors. builders, contractors, andunderstood that the operators/owners ofstandard POE methods Many of the themes emerging related to this uncomfortable buildings at the samewould not elicit sufficient relationship between the PFI company, the local authority time as helpinginformation and would and the school leadership team. simulation toolbe needed to be developers to improveadapted for use with The PFI arrangement was a constant source of complaint and extend the scope ofchildren. Whilst standard from teachers, school managers and has even been their tools. Early on inmethods allow communicated to children. One pupil described the school’s the research it wascomparison of data policy that prohibited drawings to be attached to the walls, as recognized that achievingacross all building types like a rented house where you were not allowed to decorate. this aim meant ensuringfor this project the aim Prohibitions extended to toilets being closed and only one the perspectives of allwas to explore how girls and one boys’ toilet open in a school with 1300 pupils to users of buildings weredifferent users avoid the potential for vandalism which would be charged as involved,. It wascontributed to the an additional repair cost to the school by the company. understood that theenergy use in the Moreover, corridors and play areas were commonly closed to standard post occupancybuildings and how this students during break times to avoid littering. evaluation (POE)contribution might methods would not elicitinfluence energy sufficient information.prediction. This requiredall the users of thebuilding. 4. SummaryPostOPE combined different assessment methods – users 1. Contradictions between what adults say and what they tellsurveys, review of historical records, monitoring of the building children to do. A mismatch between designers intention andperformance (see chart) along with methods adopted from teachers ability to manage the behaviours of pupils – (manyresearch with children including a participatory “walk-through” examples – dining biggest issue) 2. Poorly functioning building features (windows, heating andusing video, art based methods (drawings) and designing ventilation systems, circulation, dining spaces) and either over“improvements” to the energy efficiency of the school (which provision or under provision of space and facilities, togetheroften also included design improvements ). Analysis took the with teachers prohibiting use of facilities (toilets locked, .form of a simple content analysis but the use of broadly action 3. Lack of ownership of PFI buildingsbased research methods meant that the transformative aspect of 4. Lack of understanding of the ‘sustainable’ design features ofthe research project and recording the impact of the research the new school building – solar heating panelsactivities on school communities also played an important part. 5. Convoluted facilities management procedures where prohibitions did nothing towards children establishing their own “authentic” relationship to the environment and a deep or lasting critical perspective on the problems of sustainable2. Methods development.Whilst the Building Schools for the Future programme has nowbeen discontinued, and it seems unlikely that new schools will be 5. Conclusionbuilt on anything like the scale intended by the previousGovernment, there is still a significant requirement to be able to The project took the opportunity to set about making a realassess existing newly-built schools for energy performance and impact on the school communities and to motivate action to improve the energy performance. The adapted POE methodsimprove new and retro-fitted school buildings to actually reduce provided opportunities for children (and for some children theseenergy consumption. If anything, POE methods are becoming were the only opportunities they had had) to examine the socialmore important. Moreover, the broadly art-based participatory and cultural factors impeding the reduction of energy demand.research methods developed provided means to examine the Very little is known about children’s everyday experience of theproblem of building sustainable schools from more integrated built environment of schools (especially the more energy efficientperspectives: behavioural, and educational. new schools) or of the diversity and range of young people’sOur method was used to facilitate a deeply context based experiences of their own comfort. These issues are rarely takeninteraction with building users. Watson and Thomson described seriously. What emerged were pupil communities competent anda participatory “walk-through” POE method, which they opted willing to take energy efficiency seriously.for in the context of school buildings (Watson and Thomson, Introducing the school through the students’ stories presents2005). We adopted this approach alongside more opendiscussions and allowed children to use a video camera to a dramatic picture, (perhaps a little over dramatic when taken out of the context of the three weeks of workshops). However, Referencesshow to researchers the places within the school they liked and encouraging the telling of stories had a purpose: it alloweddisliked and describe how well or poorly they functioned. We dialogue to develop and encouraged children to enter into Askins, Kye and Pain, Rachel (2011) “Contact zones,attached particular importance to stories told by the children explaining both failures and successes of the school from participation, materiality and the messiness of interaction”about their new school environment throughout the sessions, as their own perspectives. The Table demonstrates these Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. (Previewwe saw this as a first crucial step in providing ways to conversations and hence the depth of information that can be http://www.envplan.com/epd/fulltext/dforth/d11109.pdf)productively engage with the issues and concerns of gained using these methods.sustainability, and to be able to determine why there was an Sanoff H, 2001, School Building Assessment Methods NCEF,excessive use of energy in the case study schools. We also Comfort played an important part in the dialogues, for Washington, D.C. edfacilities.org/pubs/sanoffassess.pdf, 3employed visual research methods asking children to draw or example:list positive and negative aspects of the school day and the Watson, C. & Thomson, K., 2005. “Bringing Post-Occupancybuilding and as a group we asked them to devise solutions to Researchers: Do you think the bills for the school are lower in Evaluation to Schools in Scotland”. Evaluating Quality inimprove the school. Conversations during all activities, whether this school? Are you are paying less for electricity and gas? Educational Facilities. OECD Available online at:‘walk-throughs’ or during the drawing/design task, were http://www.oecd.orgrecorded, and selected dialogues transcribed.