Building Performance Evaluation Final Report Domestic Buildings Phase 2: In-use performance and post occupancy evaluation of the Inverness Expo site.
Scotland’s Housing Expo held in August 2010 in Milton of Leys, Inverness was a high profile event developed to showcase innovative sustainable housing that includes a variety of design ideas and technologies contained within one site (Figure 1:1). This event was the first of its kind in Scotland and was based upon similar Expo models found in mainland Europe and the Nordic countries. The Scottish Expo followed a model from Finland, where historically the ‘Housing Fair’ concept has proven very successful in stimulating high quality design and innovation for housing.\ud The purpose of the Expo was to promote best practice in design with the aim of making sustainable design features commonplace in every home. All dwellings on the site were architect designed, and delivered under a unique design and build arrangement by five developers working together on site in partnership with the local housing agency the Highland Housing Alliance (HHA). The project was completed in 2010 and comprises 27 plots: 26 contain individually designed low energy homes; one plot was undeveloped due to the fact that it proved impossible to reconcile the differential between the project cost as designed with the available budget - this is further discussed in sections 1.3 and 1.4.\ud The Expo was open to the public during the summer of 2010 during which time it generated considerable interest and debate across the architectural, housing and construction sectors in Scotland and the UK. The event attracted over 33,000 professional and lay visitors from home and abroad including visitors from Finland, Russia and Australia. There are 52 houses on the site, 20 for rent/low cost home ownership and 32 houses for sale on the open market. Dwellings demonstrate a variety of layouts and forms designed to minimise energy consumption whilst maximising environmental quality. Contributing energy and environmental features include double height and large volume living spaces, compact form and careful orientation to maximise natural lighting, sun-spaces, external and site design. These houses are now occupied and a living community is developing. During the Expo, visitors were invited to vote for their favourite design - this proved to be a metal and timber clad single dwelling house with a double height living room and a large upstairs hall/study area/play space designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects which is situated on Plot 27.\ud The BPE study was undertaken on eight dwellings: four of these were social rented homes and the remaining four dwellings were owner occupied, sold under a shared ownership scheme. The dwellings selected for study were from four different plots (two dwellings on each plot) each having particular features and design approaches of interest to the construction sector. The comparison of two dwellings from each plot allowed analysis of the effects of occupancy in identically constructed dwellings as well as, a comparison of performance across the differing dwelling designs.\ud The study examined the relationships between design intentions and predictions, impacts of the procurement process, users’ experiences and perceptions of the design, and metered environmental and energy performance. Occupant engagement, in the form of diaries, and the testing of improved occupant guidance were included as part of the project.
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