Congratulations to Senior Engineer and Partner Chris Marien who has successfully completed his PhD degree at the University of Cambridge.
For his dissertation ‘Design Intent Compared With Performance in Practice’, Chris explored how the house building industry is adopting the London Plan energy policy into their development proposals and whether the policies which promote the adoption and implantation of heat networks and CHP are leading to the anticipated reductions in CO2 emissions. His research adopted a mixed method approach that included the following:
- A content analysis of actual Energy Strategy documents submitted for planning. This was completed to identify the common methods of analysis and identify common themes related to technical and economic arguments that are used to justify the adoption or discounting of different technologies.
- A case study performance evaluation of a residential development served by a heat network with a CHP system. The actual performance was compared against the performance expectations of the energy strategy and Part L SAP assessment.
- A survey of energy consultants to identify their level of training/education, design experience, and their involvement throughout the project stages. Furthermore, to understand their opinions related to the performance of technology in practice, the scale and causes of the energy performance gap, and the influence of policy on the technological measures adopted.
The research found that the prescriptive approach of policy can lead to a practice of compliance-over-performance when deciding on the most appropriate technology to adopt.
Please read the abstract for Chris’s dissertation below.