Featured: Low Energy Buildings


Low Energy Buildings Database : a unique source of real-world information about building energy performance.

  • Information on over 100 buildings and rising, presented in a consistent way to enable meaningful comparisons
  • Actual energy use of buildings – set against predicted
  • Retrofits as well as new buildings
  • Large number of ordinary buildings – very high potential for wide replication

A guiding principle of the AECB is to focus on what really works in practice, to deliver buildings with genuinely improved environmental performance. This was the reason the AECB originally established the AECB/CarbonLite Buildings Performance Database; to show people what could actually be achieved in reality, as opposed to what people hoped they might achieve when developing the design. This database draws on the collective experience of AECB members, and now also the teams involved in the Retrofit for the Future projects, and shares that learning. Almost uniquely, this database gives an honest account to anyone planning a low energy building of what can be achieved, along with a detailed account of how it has been done.

What will I find?

The database includes information on refurbishment and new build projects, in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors.

The database shows the performance of each building, in both figures and clearly presented graphs. Design intention can easily be compared with built reality, and projects can easily be compared with each other. For each project you can see detailed design strategies, descriptions and illustrations of the building type, the measures taken and technologies employed.

As the monitoring figures accumulate, the database will offer increasing numbers of well-illustrated and robust benchmarks for the energy and carbon performance levels that can be achieved, across a wide range of building types. Included for example are: East Cambusmoon Farm – a family home in rural Scotland, designed to the AECB Silver Standard; Grove Cottage – a pioneering ‘Passivhaus level’ refurbishment of a Victorian house; houses built for a social landlord – the Greenoak Housing Association – and many, many more.

Is there a place for my project?

Yes! The more we share, honestly, what we have learned, the faster the industry as a whole can progress, so all kinds of projects are actively welcomed. AECB members can add to their projects at any time.

Although this project is called the Low Energy Building Database the emphasis is on sharing experience and learning, rather than competing. So if the energy use of your building is not as low as you’d hoped, sharing your measured results could be especially valuable to others.

To add your own project, first create an account or if you have already got an account, log in to add and edit data. You will be able to view all information before you publish it. We welcome data from any building project where energy use is being recorded

Partnership with Retrofit for the Future, Passivhaus Trust

In 2010 the Technology Strategy Board sponsored a programme of 86 ambitious low energy low carbon refits of existing low-rise social housing, designed to meet the Government target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

The AECB partnered with the Retrofit for the Future (RfF) team to develop and extend its database to add in the monitoring results from all 86 of these projects. The retrofit strategies, and design energy and CO2 targets are all available to view on the database. The first performance data from these new projects will be available during 2011.

The Low Energy Building Database is now jointly owned by AECB and the TSB, and managed by the AECB. The AECB is continuing to develop and improve the functionality and add new features. In addition AECB is working with the Passivhaus Trust to develop its use for collating more extensive project information on Passivhaus projects in the UK.

To find out more, contact Eric Parks at info@retrofitforthefuture.org.

AECB Silver Standard Certification

The Silver Standard is aimed at those wishing to create high-performance buildings using widely available technology at little or no extra cost. We estimate that this low-risk option will reduce overall CO2 emissions by 70% compared to the UK average for buildings of each type – a highly significant result given the relative ease and low cost with which this standard can be met. Individual self-builders and large-scale residential and non-residential developers could make a valuable contribution to low-carbon building by meeting this standard.

Silver Standard Certification is handled at the Low Energy Building website and you will be required to either create an account or log in to process certification.

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