School of Architecture

  • Crawley Library Building

    Non-domestic in-use building performance evaluation

    Closing the performance gap of an award winning exemplar of sustainable public building design through a TSB-funded Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) study.

    The overall project aim is to optimise the energy performance of the building by reducing the gap between the designed and actual performance. The study will:

    • Improve building performance by providing feedback on how a multi-stakeholder public client manages the building to support each end user group's very distinct needs.
    • Provide key lessons for future public building design, specification and performance.
    • Increase understanding of the relationship between intended performance and actual performance in use.
    • Identify the role of occupants in minimising energy use, from full time staff , social services outreach workers, to members of the public using council services.

    • Process

      • A detailed assessment of annual energy consumption and generation will be undertaken using CIBSE TM22 procedures. Actual energy performance will be compared to benchmarks and other buildings.
      • Sub-metering arrangements will be calibrated, and energy demand profiles will be analysed using BMS data.
      • Long-term monitoring will be undertaken of temperatures, humidity and CO2 levels to investigate the effect of ‘thermal mass’ in moderating temperatures.
      • To determine technical performance, spot checks and measurements will be undertaken in different seasons, using thermography, true power meters and luminance meters. Walkthrough surveys will identify any wastage of energy.
      • Feedback from staff and visitors using BUS questionnaires will ascertain whether needs are met in terms of performance, usability of controls for ventilation and lighting. Structured interviews with management will investigate reliability, maintenance and maintainability.


      The study of Crawley Library provides insights into the issues that emerge and lessons to be learned in relation to design, commissioning, handover and management of a low carbon public building.

      Initial findings of the study reveal insufficient handover training and documentation, frequent change in FM staff, unintended space usage and usability issues of controls and windows. Constant monitoring and feedback is crucial for fine-tuning the building’s operation and achievement of its environmental and service delivery targets.

      It is crucial that this approach is absorbed and carried over after the end of the study to ensure future fine tuning and trouble shooting.

      Project team

      Project details

      Duration: 2011 - 2013

      Funded by:
      Technology Strategy Board

      Project Partners:
      Penoyre & Prasad LLP
      West Sussex County Council


      Total project value: £81,000
      Income to OBU: £58,100

      Related links


      Research Briefing

      • TSB Dissemination summary, June 2012
      • BMS Training session, 22 November 2012