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The effectiveness of installation and commissioning processes in delivering new mass low carbon social housing

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:42 authored by Terence P. Keech
Purpose: This research explores the installation and commissioning performance issues with the goal to improve and develop new practice for low carbon homes. With changes adopted by government to reduce assessment in low carbon housing and the removal of the Code for Sustainable Homes, this research comes as a timely investigation of performance of mass low carbon new build homes in the UK. Research Design: The research investigation is based on the epistemology of pragmatism. It uses the exploration of the existing literature and practice to investigate an approach to implementing improvement to performance within mass low carbon housing. The approach is explored primarily through a stakeholder wide survey, followed by site observations and interventions utilising the mixed methods with the action research methodology, on three separate projects. The research has generated empirical data which when analysed, both quantitatively and qualitatively, leads to the identification of a number of issues, which contribute to both the practical implementation and theoretical knowledge of low carbon technology performance in housing. Findings: The research findings demonstrate that a structured and mutually agreed monitoring process set within a ‘real world’ learning environment, both on and off site, can contribute to the reduction of energy and carbon emissions through the installation and commissioning process. This research has found that by engaging at a practitioner level, in the day-to-day process, change can be instigated, demonstrated in a small way in the interventions cycle. Conclusions: The research has demonstrated the practical implication that change through monitoring and training can achieve, with significant improvements in energy and carbon performance. It has also highlighted, from the practitioner perspective, the elements of change required to effect sustained improvement. In highlighting these changes, the research has indicated the barriers that exist to the change process, and in no way underestimates, the level of challenge required for change to be enacted. Therefore, from a practical perspective the research has given a voice to this issue of relatively limited research through stakeholder engagement. It has opened the opportunity for further research in an area, which could have a dramatic effect on the reduction of CO2 in affordable housing.



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