Post-occupancy testing

In October the CALA Hazledean was sold and occupancy of the world’s first dynamic breathing building began.

The aim of this phase of the project is to monitor the dwelling as it is occupied. This then allows the evaluation of benefits to the main stakeholder in any home, the owner, to be undertaken.  The project will monitor the same outputs as in the pre-occupancy phase but with the addition of periodic energy use readings to enable definitive estimation of energy use for space heating to be obtained.

Contact from the project team will be minimal. The only guidance on using the building optimally will be given some time after occupation has commenced. The only further contact with the householder will be to provide them with a qualitative questionnaire relating to indoor air quality and perceived feel of the house.

The objective is to see initially how the owners use the house with the DBB system available and running. Until the new owners have been briefed, it will only be possible to monitor the usage patterns of the house remotely, to see how it performs in the absence of any optimisation or fine tuning of use.

After a briefing the owners will understand how the system works in greater detail and they will have the opportunity to contact the project team if they wish to consult on getting the best from the system for their requirements. Monitoring will continue of the same basic parameters.

The data gathered over the Scottish winter will enable the system to be appraised during the peak heating season, which should be of interest to most members of the public.

As filtration tests are invasive there will be no further testing of the household environment for particulates. Further tests will however be carried out using the Transportable Autonomous Roadside Dynamic Insulation Simulator (TARDIS) that is being readied for deployment in 3 cities across the UK.

Early Results

To give a flavour of the early results the same plots of temperature difference that were shown for the pre-occupancy phase are presented below .

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Graph of autumn temperatures on the outer and inner sides of the dynamic insulation

Air supply temperatures before and after the Energyflo™ cells (winter).
[ Click image to Enlarge]

The plots above and below are comparable to the pre-occupancy (summer) plots but with the lower temperatures of a week in October. Although the weather during this week was relatively good for the time of year the is little sign of the solar effect seen in summer which caused temperatures coming in to be greater than the indoor temperature. However, the overall system rises below clearly confirm there is still a significant temperature uplift during winter months.

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Outdoor to in-duct temperatures indicating whole system performance during autumn

Air supply temperatures before and after the DBB system (winter).
[Click image to Enlarge]

It is clear that, in line with theoretical predictions, significant operational energy savings will be achieved with the DBB roof system.  Definitive estimates of energy use reduction will be published once the post-occupancy monitoring phase has been completed and the data fully evaluated.

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Sponsors The University of Aberdeen EBP Cala Carbon Trust