Report Research findings

Welsh Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub

The findings of a report that explored the potential of establishing a Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub for Wales have been published.

This report is the conclusion of a three-month scoping study which brought together the Good Homes Alliance (GHA), Woodknowledge Wales and the Building Performance Network (BPN) to prepare a proposal for what the Hub’s core purpose could be, how it could add value to the housing sector in Wales, and how it could further the Welsh Government’s objectives.

The report includes a foreword from Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change for the Welsh Government:

 “This Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub scoping study shows that there is strong support from the housing sector for a government endorsed body where industry, academia and NGOs can collaborate to share research, debate the issues and help shape future policy. The Hub could therefore become a resource for all similar initiatives to ensure a cohesive and coherent direction.

The Hub will also play its part in enabling a zero-carbon economic recovery that is purposefully aligned with the supply chain in Wales. Importantly for Wales, the Hub will enable the social housing sector to go zero early, bringing the benefits of low energy bills and healthy home environments to those that need them most. In short, the Hub will help facilitate and accelerate zero carbon high performance solutions that can be rolled-out at scale across all the housing sectors in Wales. We were delighted to be able to fund this scoping study and will give consideration to how we can support its implementation.”

Authors: Good Homes Alliance, Woodknowledge Wales and Building Performance Network.

Report prepared for ClwydAlyn with funding from the Welsh Government Collaborative Research and Innovation Support Programme (CRISP).

Study completed in March 2021 and conducted by Nicola O’Connor (Mandarin Research) and Ross Holleron (Building Performance Network) for the Good Homes Alliance in collaboration with Woodknowledge Wales and the Sustainable Development Foundation.

Publication date: August 2021



Model Employer’s Requirements and Design Brief Clauses

The clauses are free-to-download and set minimum requirements for performance standards for energy (net zero), emissions, health, comfort and building performance evaluation.

Developed in collaboration with:

With input from our local authority (Vanguard) and housing association (Pathfinder) network members via a workshop.

The work has been kindly funded by the MCS Charitable Foundation.

About the clauses

The new clauses can be adopted by clients (i.e. local authorities, RSLs) and included in Employer’s Requirements and Design Guides. The clauses principally intend to:

  • Drive up standards by placing new build housing developments on a trajectory to net zero carbon and avoiding the need for retrofit work to be undertaken in future;
  • Improve and enhance the comfort, health, well-being and satisfaction of occupants while additionally maintaining provision of affordable warmth; and
  • Ensure that homes are built to perform in accordance with the design stage intentions (or better) by closing the ‘performance gap’.

The clauses provide minimum requirements set out as a performance specification which can be used in connection with both self-promoted and Section.106 developments, they should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Additionally, the clauses seek to clarify the responsibilities of designers and developers in satisfying the requirements.

The ERs are built around standards set by LETI in their Climate Emergency Design Guide, the Future Homes Standard and Woodknowledge Wales BPE Guidance.

Authors: For the Good Homes Alliance, authored by Paul Ciniglio, BM3e Principal, Boulter Mossman with input from Jim Allman, Director, Boulter Mossman and Prof. Tim Sharpe, independent consultant.

Publication date: June 2021, v3


Main document:





Launch event video

On June 1st 2021 we hosted the Model Employer’s Requirements and Design Brief Clauses launch event. You can watch the video of the event below. 

Speakers included:

  • Julian Brooks, Programmes Director, Good Homes Alliance
  • Adrian Ramsey, CEO, MCS Charitable Foundation
  • Paul Ciniglio, BM3e Principal, Boulter Mossman
  • Prof. Tim Sharpe, independent consultant

A housing market catalyst to drive carbon emission reductions

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) published a new report, entitled A housing market catalyst to drive carbon emission reductions Low energy adjustment to Stamp Duty Land Tax, showing how a stamp duty incentive could help transform the energy and carbon performance of the nation’s homes.

The report demonstrates how a modest adjustment to Stamp Duty Land Tax could catalyse and drive the market to deliver both energy efficiency improvements and low carbon heat and power, whilst also being revenue neutral to HM Treasury.

Author: David Adams, Director, Good Homes Alliance 

Concept development, review and testing
Jenny Holland, UKGBC
Pedro Guertler, E3G
Nick Eyre, Oxford University Professor of Energy & Climate Policy
Lynne Sullivan, Good Homes Alliance
Mike Roberts, Good Homes Alliance
Steven Heath, Knauf Insulation

Publication date: April 2021



RIBA Plan for Use Guide 2021

Plan for Use is the RIBA’s interpretation of the Soft Landings Framework produced by the Usable Buildings Trust and BSRIA. Its aim is to encourage a more outcome-based approach to briefing, design, construction, and handover, both within the architectural profession and (by extension) to the construction industry as a whole. The Plan for Use is embedded within the RIBA Plan of Work 2020.

The building performance evaluation guidance and toolkit, produced for Woodknowledge Wales on behalf of the Home-Grown Homes project has been referenced in the guide. The document was authored by Susie Diamond & Julie Godefroy, for the Good Homes Alliance.

See the BPE guidance HERE

Author: Mike Chater, Principal Architect Property Services, Hampshire County Council
Project Manager: Alex Tait, Head of Technical Practice, RIBA
Editor and Case Study Curator: Jess Hrivnak, Sustainable Development Adviser, RIBA

Publication date: March 2021



BPE Tutorial: Fionn Stevenson

A tutorial with BPE expert Fionn Stevenson.


Building Performance Evaluation Guide

This guidance is aimed at housing clients, and anyone interested in Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) who wants to evaluate and improve the performance of homes.

Its purpose is to provide an introduction to applying BPE in practice on projects, with:

  • Information for clients and project managers to gain an overview of the benefits of BPE, what the main BPE techniques can do, how to procure it, and the main activities to plan throughout a project from design to occupancy
  • Guidance on the main BPE techniques available
  • Tools for day-to-day use on projects, complemented by more detailed guidance, examples and references.

This guidance recommends a “core” BPE scope for clients and project teams wanting to understand and improve the performance of their homes. This provides a holistic look at performance, including people, the indoor environment, fabric performance, energy use and water use. It highlights how BPE techniques can work together, and the interactions between energy performance, people, and the indoor environment. It limits the involvement of experts and expensive equipment. Instead, the aim is to embed building performance throughout the project stages and empower project teams to deliver high performance.

Authors: This guidance has been produced for Woodknowledge Wales on behalf of the Home-Grown Homes project. The document was authored by Susie Diamond, Inkling & Julie Godefroy Sustainability, for the Good Homes Alliance.

Publication date: January 2021



Good Homes 2020: Technologies and Solutions for Net Zero Homes

The second event in the Good Homes 2020 Conference Series.


  • Welcome from the chair – Mike Roberts, Vice-Chair, Good Homes Alliance
  • An update on the Active Building Centre – Simon McWhirter, Head of Engagement, Active Building Centre
  • Innovative net zero technologies: Product showcase
    • Sonnen – Gary Watson, Sales Manager (UK & Ireland), Sonnen
    • Kensa Contracting – Ieman Barmaki, Director of Low Carbon Partnerships, Kensa Contracting
    • Wondrwall – Daniel Burton, CEO, Wondrwall
    • Heritage Wind – Steve Charter, Director, Heritage Wind
    • Build Test Solutions – Dr Richard Jack, Product Manager, Build Test Solutions
  • Net zero housing case study: Parc Hadau development – James Williams, Managing Director, Sero Homes

Event date: Tuesday 20th October 2020


State of the Nation: Domestic Buildings

There have been a number of studies undertaken over the last 10 years to understand the performance of homes, addressing issues such as energy consumption and outcomes for occupants and building owners. However, many of these studies are not widely publicised and limited to a small audience: their full potential is not being realised.

Now, we are transitioning into a new future of understanding building performance: the technology is becoming cheaper and data more available. As we enter a world of smart meters and smart homes, individuals and organisations will be better able to better understand how homes perform.

To harness the currently available knowledge and the opportunities around the corner, this work for the Building Performance Network addresses the following issues and includes:

  • A review of existing studies of domestic building performance.  Within scope are any studies considering energy consumption, thermal performance, environmental performance (including temperature, relative humidity and occupant feedback), and outcomes for occupants and housing providers;
  • A review of current building performance evaluation and assessment methods, including how these relate to energy consumption, comfort, health and well-being;
  • An assessment of how different building performance evaluation methods score against time, cost, and user expertise;
  • What smart meters and smart homes mean for the measurement of building performance;
  • The future of BPE, with recommendations for researchers, manufacturers, clients and where possible for the construction supply chain.

Project map

This map was created by researchers at Oxford Brookes University, School of Architecture.

Author: Building Performance Network

Publication date: June 2020



Case Study Report Research findings

GHA Monitoring Programme

Phase 1

This report provides an overview of the findings, observations and recommendations resulting from Phase 1 of the Good Homes Alliance (GHA) monitoring programme. Phase 1 is based on post-construction testing of a series of new-build residential projects, across a range of construction types.

This project was funded by DCLG, EST and NHBC Foundation.


Phase 2

This document focuses on the key results of the Phase 2 Post-Occupation Evaluation and compares the findings of the in-use performance data from the houses in terms of energy and water consumption and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), the performance of installed building services, and occupant behaviour/ perceptions.

This project was funded by DCLG, EST and NHBC Foundation.


Case studies

The following projects were used as case studies for the research:

Old Apple Store, Stawell




One Brighton


Case Study Report

Design for Future Climate – One Brighton

The scheme is part of a highly sustainable Masterplan for the regeneration of the New England Quarter adjacent to Brighton Rail Station. Completed in 2009 to BREEAM Excellent standard, One Brighton is an outstanding example of a contemporary urban, green apartment building. Sustainability was integrated throughout the design by following the ‘One Planet Living®’ model developed by BioRegional, together with WWF International.

This report considers a retrofit adaptation strategy to reduce the risk of overheating in a contemporary apartment block, One Brighton. The project is unique in the TSB Design for Future Climate Portfolio in two respects. Firstly, it is the only study, which is considering pure retrofit as opposed to new-build or more large-scale refurbishment of a building. Secondly, it builds upon the work of the TSB Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) Programme already undertaken for the development.

Author: Good Homes Alliance

Publication date: 2014


Photo credits: FCBStudios