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Architects should be ‘liable for energy performance’

8 May 2013 No Comment

Architects should be held accountable for buildings that fail to meet energy performance targets, industry figures have suggested.

Sarah Cary, sustainable development executive for British Land, said architects had to come to terms with their liability when it came to energy performance.


Introducing contractual obligations on energy performance

Speaking at Open City’s Green Sky Thinking programme – Mind the Gap, Cary said:

“Gone are the days when you are not responsible for the performance for the building two years after occupancy.”

However, critics said that introducing contractual obligations on energy performance could ‘open a can of worms’. Architectural technologist Kell Jones said:

“By effectively underwriting the performance of the building post occupancy, architects are taking on risks which should be borne elsewhere.”

Growing UK trend of focusing on sustainable buildings

Architect Simon Allford agreed, saying that money for research and innovation could end up being diverted to guarantee building performance. According to architectsjournal.co.uk, co-speaker Ian Taylor of FCBS said that there was a knowledge gap and that an ‘understanding of how energy is used is often missing’.

UK’s most eco-friendly distribution warehouse

Greenskythinking.org.uk said that the Open City’s  Mind the Gap event was one of 45 round-table shows in the UK focusing on sustainable buildings.

Jones said that there was a shortfall in the number of people who could properly interpret data coming from post occupancy evaluations (POEs).

“[Companies] need to start looking to employ people who understand the science and have good data analysis skills,” she said.

Author: Sean McGrath    Date Written: 8 May 2013

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