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


Case Study

Housing Design Awards

The Housing Design Awards were first created to drive quality during the rebuild of post-war Britain. In 1947 Aneurin Bevan, Minister for Health with responsibility for housing, told Parliament that the Government would present annual awards for the design and layout of homes procured by the public sector. The initiative was part of the creation of the NHS, the aim being free health care and healthier homes (several common diseases of the period were associated with bad ventilation and damp).

Under the guidance of current chairman Gareth Capner and director David Birkbeck of Design for Homes, the Awards have increased their investment in explaining the details about winning and shortlisted schemes. Short films are made each year about Completed winners, interviewing development teams, planning authorities and residents. This is a perfect continuation of the Housing Design Awards’ original purpose, to explain what residents think about innovative design and whether it can be replicated.

To date there have been more than 1,000 winning schemes. The HDA archive of previous winners is the largest such resource in the world.


Further information:


Living with beauty; promoting health, well-being and sustainable growth

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission is an independent body set up to advise government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods.

In its final report, ‘Living with beauty’, the Commission has set out its recommendations to government.

Author: Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission

Publication date: January 2020



Combined authorities – collaboration on housing and planning

This report looks at how combined authorities have used their powers, resources and partnerships to achieve enhanced outcomes in housing and planning and how they are working with their constituent authorities to deliver these.

By focusing on both major innovative approaches and projects, mainstream delivery programmes and smaller scale outcomes, the report recognises that whilst at different stage of development, combined authorities are still evolving. 1.2 The report focuses on specific case studies to illustrate innovation and delivery around the following themes:

  • Increasing supply through innovative funding and investment
  • Meeting housing need
  • Accelerating housing delivery by co-ordinating and creating sites
  • Alignment with the wider growth agenda
  • Addressing urban renewal through Mayoral Development Corporations
  • Excellence in quality and design
  • Advantages of capacity building, procurement, delivery and resource sharing.

Author: Local Government Association

Publication date: January 2020



GHA 2019 Conference: Delivering Net Zero and Future Homes

The UK Government stated its ambition that all new homes should meet a Future Homes standard, aiming to halve the energy use of all new buildings by 2030, compared to the current Building Regulations requirements, which is a significant step towards meeting a net zero target.

The Good Homes Alliance believe that the Future Homes Standard is a key opportunity for Government and the house-building industry to address both energy demand and carbon dioxide emission reductions, in addition to other issues such as quality, overheating, innovation, skills, energy efficiency and occupant health & well-being.

Our 2019 conference brought together policy makers, house-builders and their supply chains to debate the key challenges, discuss how to meet the government’s proposed Future Homes standard and possible net zero targets, and demonstrate how to deliver high quality, low carbon, healthy homes, which are fit for the future.

Session 1 – The policy landscape

Lynne Sullivan, Good Homes Alliance

Neil Freshwater, Velux

Gwyn Roberts, BRE

Jenny Barker, Cherwell District Council

Session 2 – Making the case for net zero

Tom Dollard, PTEa

Greg Chant-Hall, Carbon Free Group

Susie Diamond, Inkling

David Adams, Melius Homes

Session 3 – How to deliver net zero – Case studies

Jonathan Wilson, Citu

John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust

Andrew Turnbull, Norwich City Council

Ian Pritchett, Greencore & Ssassy

Joanna Clarke, Active Building Centre

Session 4 – Ensuring performance

John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust

Douglas Drewniak, Bioregional

Event organiser: Good Homes Alliance

Event date: November 2019

Further information:


GHA 2019 Policy Workshop

GHA held a policy workshop entitled ‘Tomorrow’s Housing: Are Current Regulations Fit for Purpose?’ on Thursday 24th January 2019 at Winckworth Sherwood, London. The event included three roundtable workshop discussions facilitated by the GHA and a number of expert speakers.

The purpose of the discussions was to:

  • Highlight the shortcomings of the current Building Regulations on; energy, ventilation, overheating, indoor air quality, comfort, and in-use performance.
  • Suggest improvements and changes to regulations/policies in anticipation of forthcoming Government reviews in 2019.
  • Produce a concise set of notes on the three themes that will inform an industry wide position paper that can be adopted by the GHA membership and presented to industry and Government

Author: Good Homes Alliance

Publication date: January 2019


Report Research findings

Refreshing the Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth

URBED were asked to advise on how greater cohesion or social inclusion could be achieved in future developments, by considering the current principles in the light of published research and international best practice, and this took the form of a separate report on Creating Cohesive Communities.

They also were asked to make recommendations on assessing performance, and have considered the options for evaluating the quality of what has been built. This report summarises the conclusions and the evidence is set out in five appendices.

Author: URBED

Publication date: January 2019



Manchester Residential Quality Guidance

An outline to the considerations, qualities, and opportunities that will help to deliver high quality residential development as part of successful and sustainable neighbourhoods across Manchester.

Author: Manchester City Council (MCC) by:

  • Deloitte Real Estate: John Cooper/Ed Britton
  • Planit-IE: Peter Swift/Robert Thompson/Alexandra Chairetaki/Chris Hall/Abi Allen
  • CallisonRTKL: John Badman/Michael Dillon

Publication date: March 2017



Building homes at scale: nine vital ingredients

Nobody doubts we are in the midst of a housing crisis – the worst in a generation. One in four 22 to 30-year olds in the UK depends on their parents for somewhere to live according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The Housing Forum’s view is that if we are to tackle this housing crisis within a generation we need to start building at scale. This requires a real political will at both central and local level to make this happen, backed up by a suite of measures and incentives to make it viable.

Author: The Housing Forum

Publication date: July 2015


Guidance Report

Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth

Successful housing growth cannot be achieved in isolation, and it is vital that partners are able to work together towards common goals, sharing a common understanding of the kind of communities we wish to create. This charter will equip key stakeholders with a clear and shared language, enabling closer working in the creation of sustainable and successful developments.

Author: Cambrideshire Horizons

Publication date: May 2008