Research and analysis

Non-domestic buildings: best practice and what to avoid

Report finds modern non-domestic buildings rarely live up to performance expectations. Advice is given to constructors on best practices.

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The report commissioned by Innovate UK analysed data from Innovate UK’s £8 million Building Performance Evaluation Programme. It found that many modern, non-domestic buildings were not meeting performance expectations. These expectations include the UK commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by up to 80% by the year 2050.

The aim of the programme is to demonstrate which strategies work best and which pitfalls to avoid.

The report looked at 50 leading-edge, modern buildings, including supermarkets, offices, schools and health centres. It found that these buildings were routinely using up to 3.5 times more energy than their design had allowed for.

Difficulties integrating new technologies

The report on non-domestic buildings found that many projects had difficulty merging new technologies, in particular building management systems. Many also had problems with maintenance, controls and metering on biomass boilers, solar panels and solar water heaters.

The information collected from the project has been made available on the Building Data Exchange at the Digital Catapult Centre. Designers, developers and policymakers can make use of this data to help improve innovation and digital skills.

Published 2 February 2016