WHAT WE DO
We aim to enable the development of pertinent research areas to further define, understand and resolve challenges in reducing carbon input and improving energy performance across the building lifecycle through our membership and activities. CBx brings together bodies representing the whole building lifecycle under one banner. We provide tailored research as requested to suit the individual requirements of our CBx members and help them in achieving their energy and carbon reduction goals.
Through partnerships with the UCL Energy Institute and other knowledge experts, we draw on their large pool of research and anonymised datasets to produce authoritative outcomes for industry to take forward. This can either be to help achieve the energy and carbon reduction goals of a single organisation, or acting as programme and collaboration manager to connect large organisations, professional bodies and government for identified research areas.
Research methods and outcomes will be captured in research reports, made available to the CBx community to ensure the cross-sector sharing of knowledge and transparency of energy data.
Become a research partner!
Our research ambitions are described below. Please contact us if you would like to get involved.
There is a lack of robust data to verify the success of energy efficiency and behavioural programmes. We aim to undertake a 12 month industry led research project to develop a methodology for verifying energy efficiency and testing appropriate tools for communicating performance to end users (energy managers, occupier etc).
This project aims to develop a rigorous approach to evaluating and verifying the benefits of behaviour change and energy efficiency programmes which will be built around a new technology that is able to continuously identify, read and declare the energy use for the devices and equipment that are connected to a building’s electrical distribution system.
The project will seek to:
- Develop a verified system to test and prove behaviour change and appliance energy efficiency to deliver long-term energy saving techniques.
- Research the linkages with granular real-time building energy data (visualisation of plant/appliance use) with occupier and building management to achieve optimum energy performance for a building.
- Verify systems that differentiate human actity/behaviours with plant performance to aid landlords and tenants in realising optimum building energy performance (tool for collaboration)
Proposal to develop a tool that collects waste, water and energy operational benchmarks for the property industry and generate industry benchmarks for these. The tool will be badged by BIFM and will be accessed via their website.
Proposed funding method is to secure £5,000 from 4 companies who would like to be involved.
There have been a number of documents that have been developed to provide guidance on metering strategies covering new buildings, retrofits and metering typologies and how to use them for energy consumption profiling (documents listed below).
However, none of the existing documents address the need for industry guidance on designing bespoke metering strategies. Landlords, developers and asset managers express increasing frustration at metering strategies that are often poorly installed and / or commissioned and commonly not fit-for-purpose. Many design engineers would like to better understand the bespoke needs of each building type in terms of energy consumption profiling for tenant split, sector benchmarking, occupant’s legislative compliance and other factors.
- Government’s Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme has developed some guidance on developing a metering strategy for new buildings, given in General Information Leaflet 65.
- The Chartered Institute for Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) have developed TM39: Building Energy Metering (a guide to energy sub-metering in non-domestic buildings) put together with retrofit also in mind. While both of these documents promote greater understanding, they are more process-focused than detail and case-study focused.
- The Better Building Partnership’s ‘Better Metering Toolkit’ is a much more in-depth document that is very useful for landlords or facilities managers who would like to understand metering strategies and the functions of various meters for energy consumption profiling.
With the use of BIM level 2 mandated by Government on centrally-procured public projects by 2016, the use of BIM software and processes is becoming much more common. However, many organisations are finding the lack of a single, end-to-end tool for design-constructor-operation creates many software coordination issues that translate into time and cost inefficiencies and prevents the full potential of BIM being realised.
Secondly, there is still some guidance needed from the facilities management professional bodies in creating the ‘pull factor’ when it comes to post-completion BIM. The industry needs their expertise on how to maximize the benefit for BIM in operation so as to facilitate the interoperability between Revit, CAFM (Computer-Aided Facilities Management) and CMMS tools.
CBx would like to develop a research programme that looks at this, as well as the potential for streamlining the BIM process further to include the function of O&Ms into a dynamic and parametric environment with relevant information tagged to appropriate elements and further linked to associated components. BIM post-completion could also facilitate life cycle planning, allowing designers to check the model for any likely consequences to refurbishment strategies; for example to be able to validate whether or not the extraction of a chiller would have any detrimental effects on building performance.
Lastly, if cable management platforms could be federated into a BIM model, this would enable landlords, owners or operators to understand how the space inside a building is being used, by monitoring the usage of computers and other equipment, leading to some useful insights and information upon which to reduce energy performance.
There is limited information available to accurately define the level of savings and carbon reduction that can be achieved from the installation of a low carbon and renewable technology. This provides a risk to a business when installing these technologies.
Much of the available research focuses upon residential developments carried out by Energy Savings Trust. Particularly for the PFI and ESCo markets, the increased risks posed by the uncertainty can lead to additional charges from lenders and costs to prove compliance with the contractual savings.
This research will seek to look at specific technologies and their application across a range of building types understanding the design, commissioning and operational performance and whether the original intent had been met.