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Max Fordham

We should reduce the performance gap, not by making more accurate predictions but by delivering buildings that perform better, says Tamsin Tweddell

Architect’s Journal is the perfect vehicle to campaign for improved building performance. As the magazine that matters to the industry, there is no-one better placed to make an impact on this issue.

The engineers at Max Fordham are delighted to support the AJ’s Bridge the Gap campaign. It is a subject close to our hearts. We’ve been performing Post Occupancy Evaluations for the better part of a decade, and we further developed our understanding of the performance gap while carrying out a collaborative study with the Bartlett from 2008 to 2010.

The initial aim of the research was to develop more accurate predictive models. As our understanding grew, we realised that energy consumption is heavily dependent on how a building is used and managed. Now we appreciate that we best serve our clients by helping them to understand the factors that contribute to good or poor energy performance. In other words, we should seek to reduce the performance gap, not by making more accurate predictions (though this would certainly help) but by delivering buildings that perform better. Indeed, this approach is the essence of Soft Landings.

We believe that the performance gap is as much an issue of awareness as a technical one, and we are so pleased that AJ is lending its weight to the discussion.

  • Tamsin Tweddell, senior engineer, Soft Landings and building performance

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