Energy Efficient Construction Methods in UK Dwellings




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology



Peer reviewed



This paper examines the thermal performance of housing in the UK and the associated costs for different fabric construction methods of the envelope for a typical four bedroom detached house. The energy ratings were assessed using the UK Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), which is based on the Building Research Establishment Domestic Energy Model. The capital costs were estimated from data published by the Building Cost Information Services applied to Leicester UK area in 2011. Through alterations to the dwelling fabric alone, a reduction of 30.1% in carbon emissions of the base property could be achieved. Standard methods proved to be as effective as alternative methods at reducing carbon emissions by 22.6% for an average capital cost increase of 9.1% against the base property. This was equivalent to an extra cost of £13.7 for each kg of CO2 emissions reduction. It was found that alternative methods could reduce carbon emissions by 20.5% for an extra cost of 18.4% over the base property. The optimum construction method that would help achieve the UK government’s carbon emissions target was also discussed. The paper also discusses the methods for improving energy efficiency in existing dwellings, using a typical solid-wall terraced house with a new single storey extension, as a case study. In this study, it was found that by increasing refurbishment costs by only 4.7% could result in carbon emissions reduction by 21.7%.



UK dwelling, Construction methods, energy performance, Costs, Part L


Taki, A.H. and Pendred, R. (2012) Energy Efficient Construction Methods in UK Dwellings. Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology, 1 (2)


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture