A SUPERHOME in Christchurch under winter conditions : real performance through post-occupancy evaluation : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Environmental Management at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The profile of energy-efficient, high performing, ‘sustainable’ buildings have greatly increased in recent years in response to the need for change in design, construction, and maintenance of the built environment. Residential buildings in particular have been in the spotlight when it comes to the application of ‘green’ building concept. Although it is generally understood that a ‘green’ home provides a healthier and more comfortable housing environment to its occupants aside from generating energy efficiency, little is known about the extent to which such a home actually performs while in use. In New Zealand, a nationwide industry led initiative, known as the ‘Superhome Movement’, was established to promote the designing and building of environmentally sound, healthier, more energy-efficient and overall high-performing homes known as SUPERHOMEs. This research investigated the post-occupancy performance and indoor environment quality of a SUPERHOME under winter conditions. This study incorporated the analysis of energy use, monitoring of IEQ, and the surveying of building occupants. Results suggest that (1) the study building has not achieved its design potential with regards to electricity use in the first winter that it is occupied; (2) a SUPERHOME achieves a high level of thermal performance and provides adequate IAQ in winter conditions; and, (3) occupants’ overall perceptions towards the postoccupancy and winter performance of a SUPERHOME are positive. These findings lead to a realization that the ‘green’ status of a build should not be limited to ratings by thirdparty certification.
Architecture, Domestic, Sustainable architecture, Christchurch, New Zealand