BAM Construct UK has won funding from the Technology Strategy Board to evaluate the energy performance of two new buildings. It is only the second UK contractor to do so for non-housing projects. The two projects that BAM will evaluate are both schools: St Peter the Apostle School in Glasgow and Cressex Community School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The company has secured £100,000 to help it conduct the intensive evaluations, which draw upon a range of disciplines such as BAM’s design practice, its construction operations, and its facilities management arm. The projects will be carried out in partnership with independent experts in building performance evaluation and the building owners and occupiers.
The funding forms part of the TSB’s four-year Building Performance Evaluation Programme, and looks at the energy and sustainability performance of new buildings in domestic and non-domestic sectors. Until now, the recipients have been mainly clients, architects or consultants. Jesse Putzel, BAM’s Climate Change Manager, said: ‘It’s vital that contractors are part of the Performance Evaluation Programme because the construction industry as a whole needs to understand building types, design strategies and occupancy patterns to help us achieve carbon-neutral buildings by 2019. ‘With Cressex, BAM developed the design from the concept architecture into the build programme and will be working with the school to help them minimise their energy consumption and also the local authority so that they can use the learning in future build projects and more widely through the IESE framework. ‘With St Peter’s, BAM not only helped to design and construct the school as one of four for West Dunbartonshire Council, but it also manages the facilities. The evaluation there promises benefits for the other three schools as well.’ ‘The research will also help our property development business as we continue to grow our expertise and capabilities in post occupancy evaluation and help the two schools to reduce their energy consumption, with all the additional benefits that brings.’
The Government aims for all new domestic buildings to be carbon-neutral by 2016 and for all new non-domestic buildings to be carbon-neutral by 2019.