Code Level 5 Homes in Swindon - Phase 2

Principal Investigator(s): Professor Rajat Gupta


Project start: September 2012

Project finish: September 2014

Funded by: Innovate UK

About us

Category: In-use and post occupancy building performance evaluation.

Objective: Understanding the 'real' energy consumption in low carbon houses.

The study aimed to broaden our understanding on the energy performance of low-carbon homes and close the feedback loop between design aspiration and performance in use. The study aimed to:

  • improve performance by providing feedback on how tenants use their houses and understand the installed equipment.
  • establish the in-use performance of Hempcrete as external fabric, resolve any possible drawbacks and refine its future use.
  • look at the effect of thermal mass on summer-time overheating as well as overall energy and water use and provision of a comfortable and healthy environment for the occupants.
  • study the usability, effectiveness and robustness of the microgeneration solutions.

Terraced houses involved in this project


Rajat Gupta

Professor Rajat Gupta

Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change, Director of OISD and LCB Group

View profile


A two year in-use Building Performance Evaluation study took place in two case study houses which included:

  • metering, sub-metering and spot measurements.
  • review of metering and sub metering arrangements, installation and testing of monitoring equipment to measure the performance of PVs, solar thermal and Exhaust Air Heat Pump (EAHP), airtightness testing, thermographic survey.
  • in-use monitoring of environmental conditions.
  • monitoring of internal and external environmental conditions, occupancy levels, openings usage, indoor air quality levels occupant studies and energy audit.
  • initial meeting with occupants, walkthroughs and interviews, BUS questionnaire survey, activities logging, diaries, energy audit using DomEARM.


The Phase 2 study aimed to complete the picture of the overall performance of this innovative project which will then feed forward into future developments. In particular, it:

  • provided information on the overall energy performance of these house types in use and the effect of user behaviour on building performance.
  • established the actual performance of Hempcrete as an innovative construction material.
  • studied the efficiency and robustness of all the technologies and materials used.
  • generated a knowledge base of building performance for wider dissemination within the industry.

Map of houses targeted by this project

Project details

Funded by:

  • Innovate UK (formally known as Technology Strategy Board)

Project Partners:

  • NPS Group
  • Swindon Borough Council
  • Institute for Sustainability (IfS)


  • Total project value: £59,976
  • Income to OBU: £45,855


  • Gupta, R., Kapsali, M and Howard, A. (2018) Evaluating the influence of building fabric, services and occupant related factors on the actual performance of low energy social housing dwellings in UK, Energy and Buildings, 174, 548-562
  • Gupta, R., and Kapsali, M. (2015): Empirical assessment of indoor air quality and overheating in low-carbon social housing dwellings in England, UK, Advances in Building Energy Research, 10:1, 46-68
  • Gupta, R. and Kapsali, M. (2014). How effective are ‘close to zero’ carbon new dwellings in reducing actual energy demand: Insights from the UK, Proceedings of the 30th International PLEA Conference, 16-18 December 2014, Ahmedabad, INDIA
  • Gupta, R. and Kapsali, M. (2014) Evaluating the effect of occupant behaviour and expectations on actual energy use and environmental conditions in ‘sustainable’ social housing in South East England, 8th International Windsor Conference, 10-13 April 2014, Windsor, UK