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Bordass, B, Cohen, R, Standeven, M and Leaman, A (2001) Assessing building performance in use 2: technical performance of the Probe buildings. Building Research & Information, 29(02), 103–13.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: advanced natural ventilation; buildings; control systems; HVAC systems; lighting; performance; post-occupancy surveys; thermal capacity; usability; UK; window design;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0961-3218
- URL: http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/link.asp?id=5vb9dyyxp4qb5n3x
From 1995-1999, the Probe series of post-occupancy studies reported individually on the performance of 16 buildings. This paper introduces the buildings - seven office, five educational and four other - and reviews aspects of their technical performance in a number of areas: building envelope and window design, heating, hot water and ventilation systems, artificial lighting, controls and operations and ICT (the energy and occupant surveys are reported in papers 3 and 4 of this series). The buildings are above average in performance for the UK - some exceptionally so - but nevertheless certain types of problem were widespread. Many buildings had poor airtightness and problems with controls, which sometimes seriously reduced occupant satisfaction and energy efficiency (which is discussed in more detail in paper 3). Important lessons for designers, owners, tenants and operators of buildings are described, based on feedback from Probe. For both old and new techniques and technologies there are frequently chronic, minor problems; often revealing the need to make components, systems and particularly their means of control more understandable to those using and operating them; to avoid unnecessary complication; for design to be appropriate to the management resources likely to be available to run the buildings; and for all the simplest and most standardized buildings to have a period of 'sea trials' following completion in which performance is evaluated, problems fixed, and information collected for the benefit of the organizations concerned and of the whole industry.