Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Building shape linked to energy consumption

Energy

Energy demand in new homes could be halved if there is more focus on the shape and form of new housing, according to an NHBC Foundation report.

Current building regulations methodology does not consider shape when demonstrating energy and carbon compliance, and there has been little incentive for designers to use this as part of their low-energy strategies, says the report.

The challenge of shape and form: Understanding the benefits of efficient design shows that for the same floor area, the most efficient forms of housing, such as mid-floor apartments, may have less than half the energy demand of the least efficient forms, including detached homes and bungalows. According to the report, further improvements in energy efficiency can be demonstrated for simply shaped buildings, for example rectangular rather than “L” or “T” shaped).

The study also shows that a consideration of shape and form can deliver energy efficiency without any increase in the cost of homes.

“Whilst further improvements to the energy efficiency standards of building regulations have been paused for the time being, the challenge of climate change will not go away,” said NHBC’s head of research and innovation Neil Smith.

“This report provides a useful insight into an approach which starts by considering the inherent efficiency of good shape and form before adding the fabric insulation and efficient services that area also needed.”

The NHBC Foundation was established in 2006 to deliver research and guidance to help the house-building industry address the challenges of delivering new homes.

Tags

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.