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Building control scholar tackles awareness of performance gaps


15th March 2016

The role that Building Control professionals play in tackling performance gaps especially in the design and construction of new buildings has been highlighted by Bernadette Bowden, this year’s Building Control Scholar.

The research comes at a time when Innovate UK’s own Building Performance Evaluation review revealed how low-carbon buildings are still falling dramatically short on their energy-efficiency promises.  

In her scholarship, supported by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Local Authority Building Control (LABC), Bernadette investigated how Building Control can influence the factors that contribute to buildings consuming more energy in operation than was predicted in design. In particular through site inspections and the checking of plans for new buildings.

The findings recommended an increase awareness of the performance gap amongst building control professionals.  It found that a lack of information reduces the ability of the building control body to check for Part L compliance and further research was recommended into the suitability of the Building Notice application type for use with new build. 

Kevin Dawson FCIOB Chair of the Faculty of Building Control and Standards Scholarship commented: “Bernadette is an experienced building control practitioner currently leading a team of building control professionals at Southend-On-Sea Borough Council. 

“Whilst studying for an MSc in Sustainable Construction Bernadette undertook this important piece of research. The outcomes also highlight a concern that current UK Government targets to reduce carbon emissions will not be met if new buildings, built to current regulations, use more energy in reality than was predicted during design.” 

Each year the Faculty of Building Control and Standards, together with the Local Authority Building Control, award £3000 to the chosen scholar. The scholarship encourages advancements in the building control profession and the development of Building Regulations. CIOB also offers this scholarship in partnership with the National House Building Council (NHBC).

A full copy of Bernadette’s research can be found at by contacting Dr. Gina Al-Talal CIOB scholarships and research manager on +44 (0) 1344 630 775.




Gina Al-Talal
+44 (0) 1344 630 775

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