Built2Spec is a part of the EU funded research and innovation project Horizon 20/20, which aims to secure Europe’s global competitiveness. Built2Spec’s objective is to reduce the ‘performance gap’ in new buildings. This is the difference between the expected energy performance of a building at design stage, and the actual energy performance of that building once it’s built and being used. This ‘performance gap’ can potentially mean up to double the expected energy usage after the building has been finished, a significant challenge to the UK construction industry. Built2Spec addresses this challenge by supporting the development of systems to check the efficiency of the building at all stages of the build process, ensuring delivery of the building is exactly as specified at the design stage.
Built2Spec has access to €5.5m in funding across 20 construction partners from eight countries and these partners are undertaking research in new onsite techniques in several key areas: thermal imaging, internal air quality, air tightness testing, acoustic tools, 3D imagining tools and smart building sensors. Each of these areas can significantly improve the process of ensuring the building’s efficiency is as it should be.
Lakehouse Construction has been working alongside a mixture of partners including VRM, BSRIA and the University of Nottingham conducting research and development in the area of air tightness testing within buildings. The work is being overseen by Lakehouse Construction’s Head of Design Brett Telford with BIM manager Kamila Molnarova running the VCMP and BIM testing, and Compliance Manager Andrew Thompson, now trained in air tightness, conducting live tests on existing sites. Lakehouse Construction and their partners are involved in the project in the following ways:
Nottingham University are developing a new air test equipment called the pulse unit. BSRIA are testing thermal imaging cameras from Flir 1 that can be used with iPhones and developing software so this can be utilised on site checks of thermal performance. VRM are developing their refurbify app software for the Virtual Construction Management Platform (VCMP). Lakehouse are to work with these partners by providing sites for testing, carrying out the pulse unit testing against blower door test equipment and developing the VRM software and overall training plans.
The results of the development work will be brought together in one overall cloud based, BIM integrated, construction management platform. This cloud based platform will also incorporate site quality management systems through mobile devices. The full suite of tests will then be piloted across all regions. 2018 will mark the final year of the project object for Lakehouse and over the course of the next year Lakehouse will be conducting long term live testing of the air tightness equipment and VCMP.