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Cass, N (2018) Energy-related standards and UK speculative office development. Building Research & Information, 46(06), 615–35.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: design; energy; low-energy buildings; markets; offices; performance-based specification; property market; qualculation; specification; standards;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0961-3218
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2017.1333351
  • Abstract:
    Non-domestic buildings have great potential for energy-related emission reductions in response to climate change. However, high-specification office buildings in the UK demonstrate that regulation, assessment and certification (‘standards’) have not incentivized the development of lower-energy office buildings as expected. Making use of the concepts of ‘qualculation’ and ‘calculative agency’, qualitative case studies of 10 speculatively developed office buildings in London, UK, provide new insight into why this is the case. Interview data (n = 57) are used to illustrate how ‘market standards’ substitute for user needs, and ratchet up the provision of building services to maximize marketability competitively. The examples of energy modelling and the market’s (mis)use of British Council for Offices guidelines are used to explain how such standards perversely bolster energy-demanding levels of specification and building services, and militate against lower-energy design, in the sector researched. The potentials for alternative, performance-based standards and new industry norms of quality are discussed. It is concluded that at least the London speculative office market by its very constitution and operation, including the reliance on standards, continues to create increasingly energy-demanding buildings.

Hay, R, Samuel, F, Watson, K J and Bradbury, S (2018) Post-occupancy evaluation in architecture: experiences and perspectives from UK practice. Building Research & Information, 46(06), 698–710.

Kramer, R, Schellen, L and Schellen, H (2018) Adaptive temperature limits for air-conditioned museums in temperate climates. Building Research & Information, 46(06), 686–97.

Machline, E, Pearlmutter, D and Schwartz, M (2018) Parisian eco-districts: low energy and affordable housing?. Building Research & Information, 46(06), 636–52.

Manrique Delgado, B, Cao, S, Hasan, A and Sirén, K (2018) Energy and exergy analysis of prosumers in hybrid energy grids. Building Research & Information, 46(06), 668–85.

Poortinga, W, Jiang, S, Grey, C and Tweed, C (2018) Impacts of energy-efficiency investments on internal conditions in low-income households. Building Research & Information, 46(06), 653–67.