Hab Lab won the 2016 Innvoation in Housing Award




John Gilbert Architects
Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU)
West of Scotland Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
Ayrshire Housing
Renfrewshire Council
Govanhill Housing Association
Reidvale Housing Association
Clyde Valley Housing Association

Project Summary

Hab-Lab is a unique service aiming to eliminate the performance gap in retrofit and new build housing. Although building performance evaluation techniques have been evolving within universities for a number of years, the Hab-Lab partnership brings clients and architects together with a dedicated building performance specialist over two years to measure actual
building performance, benchmark this against national standards and work with the associations, residents and design teams to maximise the project performance.

The project is delivering new knowledge and greater understanding to all the housing association participants, new construction techniques and and better homes to residents.



This project is working with five housing associations to develop commercially viable, building performance evaluation. We have developed the following techniques:

• new, customised methods of building evaluation targeted at specific issues such as building fabric performance and occupant behaviour as agreed with the client.

• taking the opportunity to highlight issues of air quality, occupant health and fuel poverty.

• new methods of helping housing associations understand and improve conditions in a range of house types including sandstone tenements, steel frame homes and no fines construction.

• cost-efficient methods of helping clients to meet energy / funding compliance targets.

• understanding and demonstration of the risks associated with poor or unsuitable retrofit work with regard to long-term durability of housing stock.

• development of an innovative graphic and communication template allowing complex technical investigations to be simply and clearly explained, and providing an overview of the range of potential investigations to increase awareness of the issues.

• ensuring that the information gathered for each housing association is shared with others within the partnership, allowing discussion of appropriate design strategies, future maintenance budgeting and sharing of funding for this work.