We need more open data

Finally, having briefly opened this can of worms labelled as non-domestic buildings, I am in awe at both the complexity of the problem and the work that has come before me. Perhaps what is more disappointing in this leg of our journey is to know that we had to repeat a lot of work rather than building on knowledge and data that already exist.

What Next?

It is time for the building industry to embrace a feedback loop approach, meaning open data, and openness to admit what was done badly so we can collectively improve. How can we do better if we don’t acknowledge what our mistakes were? Now more than ever climate change – correction, climate emergency – needs us to be open. There is absolutely no time left for us to remain in our own bubbles of knowledge.

On this note, we would like to pledge a movement in #Openbuildings

As the first step, we encourage everyone to submit a LETI declaration in all their projects and refer to their guidance on energy disclosure. At the very least, we should disclose energy data publicly using the kWh/m2/yr metric. We also support carrying out DECs as part of Post Occupancy Evaluations or similar approaches to increase transparency in buildings energy performances.

Secondly, to encourage openness first we must change our collective attitudes towards mistakes. To continue the effort made by a few previous studies, we want to promote more ‘case study lessons’ as a means to learn from failure. Instead of only looking at case studies of good buildings, let’s look at projects that went wrong, buildings that performs badly. If we start small, even just within our organisations or teams, to put the spotlight on reasons behind poor energy performance as a method to improve, we can become better faster as an industry.

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