Phase 1 (part 1)

Working in partnership with the Scottish Energy Centre, Napier University and Misia Jack Consultancy the first part of the Post Construction and & Early Occupancy evaluation has been carried out.

A copy of the report can be accessed from here.

Part 1 of the evaluation covers the Housing Innovation Showcase, the Housing Innovation Showcase Exhibition, value for money, satisfaction levels and technical case studies for each of the house systems.

A summary of the key outcomes is below, however please ensure that you refer to the report for full details, including the evaluation methodologies used.

  • Design, Construction and Technology Audit

A gap in performance has been demonstrated through the evaluation and is supported by the SAP recalculation exercise.

Building performance must be done accurately at design stage and execution by the contractors must be to a high standard.  It is important for all parties to learn from this and help ensure that these issues are addressed in future projects.

  • U-values

The “as-built” results were rarely close to the predicted values creating concerns from the study team about the industry standard methodologies adopted both in testing and the standardised prediction tools.

There are other factors that can prove to be influential, for example construction faults within the MMC system, climatic conditions and the dynamic influence of indoor and outdoor temperatures making in-situ u-value testing representative.

  • Air Tightness

The study shows that once the homes were tested the majority achieved air tightness levels of 2.5 m³/(h.m²)@50Pa.  These improved air tightness results highlight the importance of ensuring that adequate ventilation is provided at design stage to enable indoor air quality levels to remain healthy.

  • Thermal Imaging

All systems showed internal heat losses which highlights the need for more attention to design detailing and on-site finishing works.

  • Technology Testing

The evaluation shows that there are generally deficiencies against predicted performance for all technologies except the Solar Thermal systems.  This demonstrates two key issues.

Firstly that it’s not just enough to build low carbon housing but that it needs to go hand in hand with a step behavioural change by residents to reduce their energy consumption.  Secondly, designers need to bear in mind that efficiencies with technologies at design stage are subject to installation and use.  Quoted manufacturer efficiencies are often higher than actual installed efficiencies – this is supported by the evaluation results.

  • Value for Money

With reference to construction time and costs, all homes were built within timescales substantially better than traditional methods.  There were however significant differences in the construction time ranging between 49-126 days.

The build cost for superstructure varied between £711m²-£1,138m².

The value for money assessment within the report highlights that Kingdom’s typical standard house product is already being delivered to a high standard and meets resident’s expectations.  This is an excellent result for Kingdom’s Development team however this build approach may not be sufficient to achieve building standard requirements in future years.

Overall based on the MMC system performance outputs, the feedback on their value for money and the fact that they complied fully with the design brief, all of the MMC systems have the potential to be used in future housing developments.

The evaluation demonstrates that Kingdom and other housing providers can assist in tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions within the affordable housing sector, however it is critical that funding levels are reviewed to reflect increasing construction costs and building standards.

  • Impact of the HIS Exhibition

The outputs from the evaluation demonstrate the high level of stakeholder and public interest in sustainability and that the HIS project objectives of showcasing and promoting MMC systems, new technologies and sustainable housing products were met.

Overall the evaluation outcomes confirm that the Exhibition improved people’s understanding of the work carried out by Kingdom, the need to reduce energy consumption and the importance of affordable house building within local communities.

Public awareness was further enhanced by the Wider Role activities carried out and the 11 training placements secured during the project.  The Wider Role outcomes delivered one of the project’s key objectives and helped meet the aims of the Scottish Government by tackling fuel poverty, building strong safe communities and helping people back into work.

  • Resident Satisfaction

Overall resident satisfaction was 95%.  This is an excellent result when comparing it against Kingdom’s KPI target of 91%.

The HIS has been a bold attempt to deliver and explore ways in which energy efficiency measures can be incorporated into affordable housing.  The design aim was to deliver homes which are healthy, comfortable and environmentally sustainable.  Based on the high level of resident satisfaction it is clear that this aim has been achieved.