Learning from design reviews in low energy buildings

O. Guerra-Santin, Tweed Aidan Christopher, M.G. Zapata-Lancaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


– The purpose of this paper is to determine the usability of design reviews to inform designers about low carbon technologies and building performance. The design review of three domestic and two non-domestic case studies are evaluated.

– Data collection and analysis methods include interviews and meetings with design teams and contractors, design tools audit and revision of drawings and project documentation. In addition, building's envelope and systems, and in-use performance evaluations are used to inform design teams about the actual performance of the buildings.

– This study showed that targets and intentions defined in the design process are not always compatible or reality checked. These contradictions between targets within a project can undermine the performance of a building. The design review can identify unrealistic expectations to assess fairly the performance of buildings. The study showed that changes made during construction to the original design are related to lack of specifications or experience with low carbon technologies. Design reviews can help designers to identify the knowledge gaps within their practice. Furthermore, the results showed that building-related energy consumption was close to expectations, while user-related consumption was higher than expected due to occupancy assumptions made during the design. The design review showed that designers require more knowledge about buildings’ in-use performance in order to take informed-based design decisions.

– This paper showed the main stages of a design review, and their usability to assess building performance and to inform designers. The results of this study suggest that designs can benefit from design reviews by learning about low carbon technologies installation and building's operation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-264
Number of pages20
JournalStructural Survey
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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