If the built environment is to achieve its net zero carbon goals, it is essential we calculate performance in the same rigorous way across all building projects.
We want the industry to be able to make meaningful comparisons and be able to learn from each other. To make this happen, we need equivalent performance data.
For this purpose, we aim to have all Timber Development UK case studies include the below performance measurements – which are quickly becoming industry standard.
These performance measurements are:
Upfront Embodied Carbon (A1-A5)
This encompasses all emissions associated with the materials and construction processes of a building or structure, from cradle to practical completion.
Measurement: kgCO2e/m2 | Kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per. square metre
Calculation: Embodied carbon = total embodied carbon / GIFA
More information: IStructE. How to calculate embodied carbon, Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment (rics.org), Assessing the Carbon-Related Impacts and Benefits of Timber in Construction : Timber Development UK
Stored Biogenic Carbon
Timber sourced from a sustainably managed forest will have sequestered biogenic carbon. This is the carbon dioxide absorbed and stored in the product.
Measurement: kgCO2e/m2 | Kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per. square metre.
Calculation: Stored biogenic carbon = product density × timber content x moisture content
More information. TDUK. Stored biogenic carbon calculator. Assessing the Carbon-Related Impacts and Benefits of Timber in Construction : Timber Development UK
Operational Energy (B6) in kWh/m2.yr
The average annual energy consumption of a building, otherwise known as Energy Use Intensity (EUI). It is a good indicator for building performance.
Measurement: kWh/m2.yr | Kilowatt hour per square metre of floor area of the dwelling per year.
Calculation: Operational energy = annual energy consumption / gross internal floor area
Airtightness at 50pa in m3/hr/m2
Air permeability testing is a mandatory requirement under Building Regulations Part L. It is essential for understanding the thermal efficiency of a building.
Measurement: m3/hr/m2 | Metres of lost air per hour and per metre square of the building envelope
Calculation: To be tested, a dwelling will need to be temporarily sealed while the test is taking place, while a suitable external opening is selected where a fan will be attached.
Overall area-weighted U-Value
A U-value is a measure of the rate of heat transfer, in this case taken as the average overall transfer of heat from the inside to the outside of a building.
Measurement: W/m2K| Watts per metre squared Kelvin
Calculation: U-Value = 1/(Sum of all R-Value)
This is the period of use as intended by the designer, after which a building may need to be replaced. Before this period has elapsed, it should remain fit for its intended purpose.
Calculation: As per the design requirements and decisions taken.