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The relationship between construction quality and energy efficiency in newly built residential buildings

Author

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  • Agnieszka Zalejska-Jonsson
  • Rosane Hungria-Gunnelin

Abstract

Considering the climate change and urgent need for adaption of a new approach in building design and construction, the feedback from users is a highly valuable data. It is imperative to gather, analyse, and compare data on measured consumption for the purpose to increase our understanding about energy performance. Earlier research results indicate that energy and environmental targets are hard to deliver post-occupancy. It has been suggested that difference in the expected and delivered performance might be related to problems or lack of commissioning, inadequate building operation and even occupants’ behaviour. In this paper, we intent to test the assumption that the quality of the designed building is expressed in its final product. We examine a number of building features where end-users reported problems and discuss their potential effect on the buildings’ energy performance. We investigate if the occurrence of problem varies depending on climate zone, production year, building size and energy performance class. The data for this study was collected through survey. A total of 1,563 letters were posted with regular mail to all chairmen of condominium boards of residential estates built in Sweden between 2006 and 2014. We received 436 responses. We analysed data with help of descriptive statistics, principle component analysis (PCA) and Mann-Whitney test. PCA is used to group factors describing different quality problems and the Mann-Whitney test is used to investigate the significance level of differences in occurrence of specific-feature problems within subgroups. The results suggest that problems which occur in the new produced residential buildings are related to construction quality and may have significant effect on energy performance. The analysis of data suggests that new construction faces problem with building air tightness (especially the quality of windows and doors) and installations (HVAC), which have a direct impact on energy performance. Moreover, we observe that quality varies over time and may be dependent on market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnieszka Zalejska-Jonsson & Rosane Hungria-Gunnelin, 2017. "The relationship between construction quality and energy efficiency in newly built residential buildings," ERES eres2017_59, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
  • Handle: RePEc:arz:wpaper:eres2017_59
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    Keywords

    Condominium apartments; Construction quality; Energy Performance; Residential Real Estate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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