The Side by Side in use Monitored Performance of two Passive and Low Carbon Welsh Houses (and the importance of the peer-review process)

At the 2014 Passive House Conference, Dr Diana Urge-Vorsatz, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP) www.3csep.ceu.hu , reported that the scientific outputs of the Passive House community are not ‘loud enough’. She told us that the PH community is not documenting enough of its research in the form of peer reviewed literature. The IPCC, for example can only refer to peer reviewed literature.

Dr Wolfgang Feist said that this was an important message for us to note, and that the PH Institute will now make a big effort to have more of its completed research papers peer reviewed.

Using some of the findings from our Technology Strategy Board two year monitoring of the Welsh Passive House prototypes (shortly to be published on the research page of the bere:architects’ website), lead author Professor Ian Ridley, assisted by Justin Bere, Alan Clarke, Yair Schwartz and Andrew Farr have produced a peer-reviewed paper on the performance of the Welsh Passive Houses, Larch House and Lime House. These two houses were the UK’s first PH social housing prototypes built for United Welsh Housing Association as the result of a BRE Wales international competition. Much preliminary research information is already freely available on the bere:architects' research page: http://bere.co.uk/research and the final report of two year's monitoring will also be published in the same place very soon.

The peer review process is a strictly regulated process intended to give additional veracity and value to a piece of work, and to enable it to be used as reference material by the IPCC and other important organisations. One of the leading publishers of academic peer reviewed papers is Elsevier. Elsevier is an academic publishing company which publishes medical and scientific literature that has been through the peer review process. Elsevier is free to access by registered academics and academic institutions.

Energy and Buildings is an international journal peer-reviewed and published by Elsevier, devoted to investigations of energy use and efficiency in buildings. It publishes articles with explicit links to energy use in buildings. The aim is to present new research results, and new proven practice aimed at reducing the energy needs of a building and improving indoor environment quality.

Publications in Energy and Buildings go through the Elsevier Editorial System™. This means that when you read an article in Energy and Buildings, the work has been independently and comprehensively assessed by several leading experts who have passed questions and criticisms to the authors who have in turn responded to these questions until such time as the paper is deemed to have sufficient veracity that it can be published. This gives the work a value that cannot be achieved by publishing it in the general architectural press.

The paper can be found at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378778814005209#

It’s a shame that the system cannot be funded by government and made free to all. However most research libraries and institutions subscribe to Elsevier journals. Please check with your librarian or information specialist to see if you have access.

However, for those who cannot access the documents for free and who don’t want to pay for the Energy and Buildings Document, the content of the above paper will be found within the Technology Strategy Board research paper that will be published on our website as soon as all the permissions have been obtained. The same applies to the Camden Passive House paper which is also ready for uploading to our website as soon as the last permissions have been obtained.

Justin Bere

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This is an excellent idea, this is exactly what we need. Also link should be 3csep....
Tim, many thanks and also for correcting the typo on the link...