School of Architecture

  • Thames Valley Housing - Phase 2

    Domestic-in use building performance evaluation

    Understanding the effects of design and handover process in the in-use performance of a low carbon affordable housing.

    The social housing development is split into 2 separate sites in Hanworth (Hounslow) comprising of 10 two-storey houses, owned by the Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA) and built on previously brownfield sites, all achieving Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. The evaluation will focus on two houses, one 3-bed mid-terrace on Pippin Close and the other 5-bed detached house on Barnlea Close.

    The proposed in-use study over two heating seasons, will reveal the gap between design intent and actual in-use performance with particular focus on:

    • what the overall energy performance of these house types in occupancy is and the effect of user behaviour on building performance;
    • the energy use of the houses for space heating, water heating, ventilation, water use (proportions of mains and rain water), lighting, cooking, cooling and appliance use; how the occupants think and feel about living in these houses;
    • ease of use of controls and layout; impact of space flexibility; how the houses perform in relation to external weather conditions in terms of heating and cooling;
    • and finally, suggesting adjustments and monitoring the impact of these.


    • Process

      • Includes elements such as design and construction audit, drawings and SAP calculation review, qualitative semi-structured interviews and walkthroughs with occupants and design team, photographic survey so as to compare design intentions with final performance.
      • Gas and electricity consumption will be monitored and compared with SAP predictions.
      • The efficiency of the Solar PV will be logged and analysed. Energy consumption patterns will be documented using DomEARM. The two case study houses will also be tested for air permeability at the beginning and end of the two year study.
      • BUS questionnaire surveys (summer, winter) and a TM22 audit will be carried out with all occupants.


          The results will be used to inform current and future developments by TVCHA which has over 14,500 properties under management in South-east England and aims to construct around 400 Code Level 4 units within the next 3 years. The results will help determine whether the residents are achieving the maximum benefit from their new homes. The data gathered will be essential in selecting future construction methods.

          Project team

          Project details

          Duration: 2012 - 2014

          Funded by:
          Technology Strategy Board

          Project Partners:
          Thames Valley Housing (TVCHA)
          BPTW Partnership
          Hill Partnership

          Total project value: £59,992
          Income to OBU: £43,918