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ahmm_image_2 (2)Guest blogger, Dr Craig Robertson – Head of Sustainability at architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, shares his insight on the value of integrating performance analysis tools from even the early stages of design.

At Allford Hall Monaghan Morris we work across a range of sectors, specialising in designing buildings that are enjoyable to use, beautiful to look at and easy to understand. Our ethos is to create buildings that work over time and have lasting qualities intrinsic to their architecture.

For us, a project begins with a strategy rather than a design solution. Each strategy arises from understanding the fundamental drivers of a brief and the parameters, problems and opportunities it represents. Although this approach might involve a complexity of thought, the aim is always to produce a simple, legible proposal that can be responsive to change while still remaining true to the core of the brief. This ensures that our design ideas are robust enough to survive the pressures that can be expected on the way to the finished building.

Our design process is architectural, in that our primary decision drivers are that of townscape, spatial qualities, user experience, materiality and form. However, we recognise that making buildings is a collaborative process and we work hard to integrate engineering and space conditioning strategies into our designs. We focus on adaptable, occupant controlled environments using passive means where possible.

Performance-based design is important to enable understanding of the energy, cost and comfort implications of our design decisions. We have to balance all these factors and more, and carrying out performance analysis provides us with the detailed information we need to make better design decisions.

We use IESVE to perform more detailed analysis of our proposals and to support our architectural decisions, challenge briefs and integrate a strategic environmental approach into our architecture. It is an essential tool to understand how our architectural proposals can be optimised to maximise comfort and minimise energy consumption.

Early stage examples we are currently working on include developing a fixed shading strategy for a new commercial office building, illustrating the benefits of hybrid conditioning to a developer client, reassuring a planning department over concerns about sunlight and simplifying the servicing requirements for a residential project.

We find that as the legislative framework around energy and sustainability becomes increasingly stringent, the onus is on us to make the case for low energy, high performance architecture. Outputs from IESVE help us do that.

Want to find out more about integrating VE analysis tools within your architectural practice? Visit our VE for Architects webpage or contact one of our representatives at sales@iesve.com for more information.

Going-Green (2)Last month I had the pleasure of being involved in the 4th Going Green Conference, which took place in Gauteng from 18-20 October. Hosted by the Green Building Design Group in partnership with the Gauteng province, the organisers aimed to “create a more connected platform for all the various actors in government to engage and to recognise that public assets can be used as a test case and lead by example to the wider country objectives on these policy directives.”

What set this event apart from some of the others I’ve attended was the focus on knowledge sharing and creating a platform for the private sector to share their knowledge with the public sector and with final year university design students from both Architectural and Engineering fields. Click here for an insightful synopsis of the event from Songo Didiza, Executive Director at the Green Building Design Group.

IES have a wealth of practical experience and measurable results from analysis of various buildings across the world. There is a global awareness of the power of data, but we need to further exploit this data to improve our buildings in South Africa. With this in mind, the topic I chose from my presentation was: OMG! Operational data + Modelling = Great Savings.

The presentation focussed on the need to evaluate building performance against design intent, and quantify operational gaps in the same level of detail with which we analyse design in simulation software. To do this, we need to consider the feedback loops that can exist within building lifecycle data, and how this should be managed by BIM processes. Designers can benefit from lessons learnt on previous projects, and the O & M team can benefit by an audit trail of the design intent and records of commissioning procedures and tests for the building they are managing.

At present, buildings are often an untapped data asset. By taking the operational data from buildings and using it to calibrate the operational model, we can generate highly accurate calibrated models, which enable owners and FM’s to analyse planned interventions and evaluate their impact with a high degree of accuracy, to assess viability before commencing work.

Let us consider a single data stream from a building. If we view monthly metred data, we have 12 data points, but if we have data measured every 30 minutes by a smart meter, we have 17520 data points! If we then collect data from several streams, the potential for a clear image for comparative analysis increases, especially where this data is logged effectively, clearly named and well managed.

Data-points-view

It is estimated that 80% of cost lies beyond the construction team involvement. For any client with a portfolio of real estate, there are real benefits available from data analysis:

  • Creation of benchmarks, to identify low or high performers and outliers, indicating a need for further investigation of the building fabric and systems, and its operational strategies.
  • Support both better informed design of new buildings, and future strategy for O & M

In my presentation I presented various healthcare examples of where our IES consulting team have assisted with BMS Data Logging and collation on a cloud-based platform, enabling data reviews for:

  • BMS analytics, including tracking and monitoring building performance
  • Independent performance review through auditing the building against its Key Performance Indicators
  • Energy consumption benchmarking Building Simulation was then used to propose suggestions and evaluate their impacts and compliance.

The unique skillset of our consulting team enables our analysis to compare different results and postulate reasons for the differences. For example, we utilised BMS data logging and analytics to evaluate a portfolio of 6 similar healthcare facilities. In reviewing the supply air pressure data for the operating theatres, we identified many opportunities for immediate savings from operational decisions, as shown below.

Supply-Air-Pressure

The technology is available now to deliver projects that incorporate BIM and energy modelling in an integrated design process that extends to building hand-over, commissioning and facilities management. As owners start to demand buildings which operate closer to design predictions, we can start to use operational data to inform dynamic building simulations of improved design and retrofit, and provide enhanced operational models that enable ongoing monitoring of performance and great savings.

If you want to find out how more about how operational data + modelling = great savings, drop me an email and I can provide you with more information about my presentation. I have no doubt that the 5th Going Green Conference will be even better and I look forward to being involved in more knowledge sharing again next year.

RBS HQ - BREEAM Excellent
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been contacted by a number of BREEAM Assessors who are looking for ways to boost their projects overall score and I found it interesting how many don’t realise the full number of credits available through analysis from IESVE.

The number of registered BREEAM projects continue to grow with resilience each year. With the BRE Environmental Assessment Method celebrating its 25th birthday, the numbers are staggering; globally there are more than 553,000 BREEAM certified developments, and almost 2,254,500 buildings registered for assessment, in over 70 countries since it was first launched in 1990. By any benchmark BREEAM is firmly placed in the construction industry.

In the UK, if you are working on a non-domestic building of any size the chances are that the project will be registered for BREEAM, and the work you are doing will influence the end result. Now, if you are reading this, then you are probably well aware of BREEAM and the role you will play in any particular assessment, either directly or otherwise, but did you know that 33% of BREEAM credits can be achieved using IESVE? *

Whether you are a BREEAM Assessor, or a consultant delivering credits, knowing which credits can be achieved can not only maximise the full potential of the projects BREEAM score but also generate additional revenue streams you may not currently benefit from. I’m not aware of any analysis tool which can deliver more credits.
If you are involved in BREEAM have a look at the following table to make sure you aren’t missing out attainable credits.

*For BREEAM UK NC 2014

Assessment issue Credit Description Credit score
Management
Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning 4
Man 05 Aftercare 2 +1 exemplary
Health & Wellbeing
Hea 01 Visual comfort 4
Hea 02 Indoor air quality 2
Hea 04 Thermal comfort 2
Energy
Ene 01 – Reduction of energy use and CO2 emissions 12 +5 exemplary
Ene 04 – Low carbon design 3
Ene 08 Energy efficient equipment 2
Materials
Mat 01 Life-cycle impacts 6 +2 exemplary

BREEAM UK NC 2014

Did you spot any? Worth thinking about existing projects you are working on and what additional services you could be offering. Another question I get asked often is what IESVE can do for other BREEAM assessments, for example BREEAM_NOR, BREEAM international, BREEAM Communities, and the answer is simple, yes you can use IESVE for a number of credits on all BREEAM Assessments, and for other environmental assessment methods such as LEED®, DGNB, WELL etc. If you would like to know more then please don’t hesitate to contact your local IES representative.

Using IESVE for BREEAM credit analysis in conjunction an online project management system allows you to make the BREEAM certification process even more efficient. IES TaP is a BRE Global approved, secure online portal for managing the evidence gathering and credit tracking process for BREEAM assessments. Using a system like IES TaP ultimately speeds up the evidence gathering process saving time and money, allowing you to realistically take on more projects over and above your current maximum.

BREEAM has enjoyed a prosperous 25 years and will no doubt continue to do so for the next 25 years. One element of this longevity for any assessment method is adapting to the market and alignment with complimentary assessment methods. The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) and BRE recently announced an agreement between the two organizations to pursue alignments between the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) and BREEAM that will make it easier for projects pursuing both standards. The crosswalk identifying the applicable credits between the two standards, is being done by WELL’s certifying body, Green Business Certification Inc., and BRE, and is expected to be completed in January 2017. Alignment between these assessment methods should help save time and costs, but ultimately help to deliver better, healthier, sustainable buildings.

Solutions like IESVE can help to maximise the full impact of under taking such assessments, by delivering the analysis and evidence required for credit attainment in as little time as possible. Rather than seeing the assessment as an addition to the core work, IESVE is able to integrate the analysis within a single model allowing you to not just validate but to undertake multiple studies to optimise the project for all aspects of its performance.

To read more about how IES can help you with your BREEAM assessment, visit http://www.iesve.com/software/breeam.

New IES customers can also take advantage of our limited time IESVE for BREEAM special offer.

 

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