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Beyond the performance gap: reclaiming building appraisal through archival research

Patel, H. and Green, S. D. ORCID: (2020) Beyond the performance gap: reclaiming building appraisal through archival research. Building Research & Information, 48 (5). pp. 469-484. ISSN 1466-4321

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2019.1672517


Current debates about building performance evaluation often emphasise the ‘performance gap’ between how buildings perform in practice and how performance was envisaged during the design stage. While such debates continue to be dominated by energy considerations, increasing attention is directed towards the subjective experiences of building users in terms of thermal comfort and wellbeing. The latter trends are undoubtedly to be welcomed, but buildings continue to be conceptualised as fixed physical objects rather than entities that are enacted in practice. With the aim of challenging current assumptions, research is described which sought to reclaim the concept of building appraisal as practised by the pioneering architectural practice DEGW. The concept of building appraisal differs from current notions of building performance evaluation in that the point of departure was not the supposedly fixed entity of the building, but the essential fluidity of the occupying organisation and their aspirations in terms of space. Empirical data is derived from archival sources and through extensive interaction with the DEGW diaspora, many of whom remain active at the leading edge of international practice. It is concluded that the continued fixation with the ‘performance gap’ reinforces long-since discredited assumptions of environmental determinism.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:86018
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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