Making properties more sustainable is a major part of our design philosophy and the delivery of all our services. Within the group we have a number of sustainability specialists who are qualified and experienced in using the latest materials and design techniques. We are able to achieve and exceed the building performance requirements that are set by current and known future legislation, either as an integrated part of our designs or as a stand-alone consultancy.
One of our driving forces is the desire to try and ‘design out’ traditional mechanical & electrical building services in favour of passive systems that consume little or no energy.
Our in-house specialists can provide the following sustainability services:
Dynamic Thermal Modelling
We have the tools to carry out predictive modelling of the thermal performance of a proposed scheme. It allows us to test how the building will react before the detailed design of its systems begins. Our thermal modelling software simulates the effects of heating and cooling systems, solar radiation, weather, building orientation and location, and ventilation design. The result is a visual representation of what indoor comfort conditions would be like for building users, to inform the design development and solve issues early.
An assessment of sustainability is increasingly being specified and benchmarked as part of the process of obtaining planning consent. Our qualified assessors are approved to carry out assessments including BREEAM, EcoHomes and Code for Sustainable Homes. They have a clear understanding of how to identify areas where a building’s environmental impact can be minimised or mitigated. We have the expertise to meet all the requirements of these assessments, including thermal modelling and daylight analysis.
Building Regulations Part L
We give our clients and colleagues on the design team the right advice to ensure that they comply with relevant legislation, including Part L of the Building Regulations. This is not only a service for our integrated designs, but we can also advise where changes are needed to enable existing designs to meet mandatory requirements.
Our engineers have the tools to undertake ‘Right to Light’ calculations. It means we can accurately demonstrate the visual impact of a building on its surroundings, any changes to daylight levels in other buildings, and the positions of shadows that will be cast under different conditions. Evidence of these factors is becoming increasingly expected by planning authorities.
We maintain a keen awareness of up-to-date technological advances in sustainable building. This gives us the ability to advise on the possible application of renewable energy and low emission technologies. Our feasibility studies take into account factors such as the energy requirements of the building at different times, the ‘whole life’ carbon footprint of different options, cost, and the availability of grants to assist with project funding.