Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Anna Kossman de Menezes


Improving predictions of operational energy performance through better estimates of small power consumption

Project Title

Predicted vs In-Use Energy Performance of Buildings 




Academic Supervisors:
Dr Richard Buswell
Professor Jonathan Wright

Industrial Supervisors:
Dr Andrew Cripps

Director of Research:
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2009 - 2013

Predicted vs In-Use Energy Performance of Buildings

Context and Background

The construction and operation of buildings accounts for over 50% of the world's primary energy consumption. Reducing this demand across the lifecycle of buildings is important in order to reduce CO2 emissions and combat global warming.  This project will investigate the extent and causes of the discrepancies between the predicted and actual performance of buildings. Using a case study approach, the predicted performance of buildings will be studied primarily through computer modelling, with supporting studies analysing historical records from the design and construction phases. Actual performance will be studied through a post-occupancy evaluation approach, focused primarily on energy monitoring, with supporting studies analysing user behaviour and thermal comfort.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this research is to conduct an integrated study of the fundamental factors leading to performance shortfalls and failures in buildings that were initially designed to achieve high-energy efficiency.  The proposed work will focus on causes that can be related to the post simulation processes in building design and construction. Using a case study approach, the project will develop new knowledge on building performance shortcomings, which affect energy consumption and occupants comfort. It is recognised that findings from the case studies will need to define reoccurring trends of the main causes of performance shortcomings to avoid subjective results and enable some general causes to be identified. The work will strive to lay the foundations to establish post occupancy performance assessment as an accepted practice that will lead to further studies and theory building.

Method and Current Status

Carry out a thorough literature review on building performance shortcomings that affect the energy efficiency of buildings in use and the current state of knowledge and experience of post-occupancy evaluation techniques. Assess the performance of a number of case studies for a range of  buildings designed for energy efficiency to establish shortfalls and problems that affect energy use and the thermal comfort of occupants. The extent of the monitoring of building energy use will be determined in part by the fixed metering that has been installed and the availability and cost of monitoring equipment. Conduct a user focused study on comfort levels and behaviours related to the internal environmental conditions and the use of controls by both occupants and buildings managers. Establish the causal factors of performance shortcomings within the case study buildings, from the modelling process through design, construction, commissioning and occupation.

Benefits and Expected Outcomes

The main outcome of the work will be a set of guidelines to be used by designers as decision support and by simulation tools developers to further improve the accuracy of their models in predicting real life performance.

Menezes, A.; Cripps, A.; Bouchlaghem, D.; Buswell, R. (2012). Predicted vs. actual energy performance of non-domestic buildings: Using post-occupancy evaluation data to reduce the performance gap. Applied Energy, Vol. 97, pp. 355–364.

Menezes, A.; Cripps, A.; Buswell, R.; Bouchlaghem, D. (2012). Benchmarking small power energy consumption in office buildings in the United Kingdom: A review of data published in CIBSE Guide F.  Building Services Engineering Research & Technology. [In Press]

Menezes, A.; Tetlow, R. ; Beaman, C.; Cripps, A.; Bouchlaghem, D.; Buswell, R. (2012). Assessing the impact of occupant behaviour on the electricity consumption for lighting and small power in office buildings. 7th International Conference on Innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction. 15-17 August , The Brazilian British Centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Menezes, A.; Nkonge, N.; Cripps, A.; Buswell, R.A.; Bouchlaghem, D. (2012); Review of benchmarks for small power consumption in office buildings. CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium, 18-19 April, Imperial College, London, UK.

Menezes, A.; Cripps, A.; Buswell, R.A.; Bouchlaghem, D. (2011); Analysis of electricity consumption for lighting and small power in office buildings.  CIBSE
Technical Symposium,
6-7 September, DeMontford University, Leicester, UK.

Menezes, A.; Cripps, A.; Bouchlaghem, D.; Buswell, R. (2011).   Predicted vs. actual energy performance of non-domestic buildings.  3rd International Conference on Applied Energy, 16-18 May, Perugia, Italy.



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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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