Fabric first

Delivering a step change in reducing fuel poverty

Professor John Currie 

To support the entire new housing sector towards near zero energy buildings, the Scottish Energy Centre (SEC)has delivered unique outcomes from research projects undertaken to evaluate the ‘fabric first’ approach. One of the key projects their research has supported is the Housing Innovation Showcase in Fife. 


This project identified the in-situ real energy performance of 10 different constructions systems, the benefits of ‘real time utility displays’ for home occupants, and in particular key occupant groups such as low income, retired and fuel poverty households. Their studies demonstrated that up to 20% savings could be made on gas bills through such real time information to home occupants. In addition, they found that the construction building performance could have a 25% performance gap between the ‘as designed’ and ‘actual’ performance of energy building performance. 

The outputs of this research have led to construction companies refocusing their efforts to improve overall performance and many housing associations and local authorities now requesting such occupant displays in their procurement contracts for future housing.