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Designed to Perform
Year published
First edition 2017 / Second edition 2022
Tom Dollard
Cover design
Pollard Thomas Edwards
RIBA Publishing

Designed to Perform is an illustrated guide to designing and constructing better homes. Better homes have low energy use, thermal comfort, excellent indoor air quality and deliver their desired outcomes.

Using annotated details, drawings and photos taken from live construction sites, this book identifies common problems and provides valuable best practice guidelines. It will enable practitioners and students alike to deliver high quality energy efficient design and allow homes to do what they should be doing: providing a low energy, healthy environment in which to live.

The performance gap between predicted and actual energy use in new homes has been identified as a key problem by government and industry experts.

This updated edition is an illustrated practical design guide to delivering better energy performance in all types of new build homes. It introduces readers to the concept of the performance gap and highlights clear issues and solutions to help architects improve their detailing at design stage.

The book:

  • Features annotated details with photos taken from live construction sites
  • Includes accessible practical guidance for busy practitioners
  • Highlights how to boost the construction quality and performance of new homes
  • Promotes the case for more architect supervision throughout the construction process.

​A new chapter features innovative, low-carbon building methods, including hempcrete blocks, clay blocks and straw bales. All information has been updated to reflect the latest data with fresh details and technologies.

If ever there was a game-changing book to support better building design – Designed to Perform is it. The author provides a rare lucidity through a visual journey of site photographs, diagrams and clearly drawn details to highlight good and bad practice with succinct annotations. This is a must-read companion for practicing architects, students and studio tutors, as well as building regulation professionals.”
Dr Sofie Pelsmakers, author of The Environmental Design Pocketbook
This book provides much-needed practical guidance for clients, designers and construction professionals developing new homes which are fit for the 21st century. Building greater numbers of homes will be a wasteful exercise if they fall short on quality. Addressing current skills shortages must include redefining the levels of understanding and capabilities needed, prompted by this book, to deliver sustainable homes which are fit for purpose and will stand the test of time.”
Lynne Sullivan OBE, RIBA
Compliance does not mean quality
Compliance does not mean quality Diespeker Wharf
38 Graham Street
London N1 8JX

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Compliance does not mean quality