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LED lighting is best?

LEDs are everywhere these days, offering good levels of energy efficiency, attractive design, and reliability.

All at an increasingly attractive price. For most applications, they provide a great lighting option. But is it always the best?

Well, this depends on how we define best. In terms of colour perception, LEDs still have some way to go to offer truly broad spectrum colour rendering, comparable with a tungsten halogen lamp. And the better ones tend to be more expensive. So if you need to light pictures or retail merchandise, choose your LED with care. Dimming is another complex area with many pitfalls. Nobody wants flickering lights or noisy buzzing.

But they are the most energy efficient, yes? Well, not necessarily. While better LEDs offer very high energy efficiency, at the cheaper end of the market they may not beat the efficiency of a well-designed fluorescent fitting. And the most efficient fitting of them all? Surprisingly this remains the low-pressure sodium lamp, better known as yellow street lighting, dating from the era of vinyl records and soda streams. Not that we are predicting a retro return to yellow lighting anytime soon at your local hipster café.

Kellogg Hub Passivhaus: Construction Progress

The Kellogg College Hub building, which looks set to become the first Passivhaus for Oxford university and an Oxford college, is now over halfway through construction, with the main building shell, and windows now in place. Here are some progress photos from my recent inspections.

Getting wall insulation installed correctly has been a key part of the work so far. Gaps between and behind insulation boards result in thermal bypass, which leads to significant discrepancies between predicted heat loss, and real performance. The photos below show EPS insulation boards (white) fitted below the DPC. The pink material is expanding foam used to help secure the EPS boards, as well as fill any remaining gaps. The EPS boards have been cut to fit using a hot-wire cutter to provide a clean, straight cut. The work was actually carried out by the site carpenters, whose skills at cutting timber are well-suited to the task. Thanks to the Speller Metcalfe site team for their dedication so far to a ‘gap-free’ installation.

PIR insulation being fitted into the web of a timber cassette. More carpentry skills on show here to ensure a snug fit.

Insulated timber cassettes above brick level provide a means of fixing the decorative metal frieze back to the main structure.

Air tightness membranes and tape being applied to a column on the south facade, in preparation for windows being fitted. The membranes will then be taped to the window frames (using air tight tape products), to provide a continuous airtight line.

The triple glazed windows are now in place, and work has begun on insulating and air sealing around the frames. Once taping of air tightness membranes is complete, the building will be ready for its first air test. More to follow!

Awards for Ruskin School of Art

CBG are pleased to announce that Spratley Studio and Kingerlee Ltd have received an Oxford Preservation Trust Award for their work at The Ruskin School of Art.

CBG were responsible for providing the energy and ventilation strategy for the new £4M building. The mechanical services design has helped achieve a reduction in CO2 of 32% in comparison with the latest building regulations (Part L 2013). This was achieved through use of innovations such as a ‘fabric first’ approach which, when coupled with low air tightness, has reduced the heating demand whilst also limiting the risk of Summer time over-heating. The building also has solar voltaic panels to help meet the electrical demand.

Kellogg College Hub – foundations completed

The Kellogg College Hub building, which is aims to be the first non-domestic Passivhaus in Oxfordshire, and the first for Oxford University, is now at the early stages of construction.

The foundations have been completed, and the ground floor insulation is being laid. EPS blocks are laid (the white material in the photo) onto which the slab will be poured. The dark coloured material in the photo is foam glass, which, as a structural insulator, provides a thermal-bridge free way of linking the building structure onto its foundations.

ACE SME Prize Draw 2016

CBG Consultants wins the ACE SME Prize Draw 2016.

ACE held its annual CEO Awards Judging Day on Friday 7th October 2016 and the Judges also conducted the Prize Draw for our SME Benchmarking Initiative. All the SME member firms who completed and returned their data submissions by the deadline were included in the Benchmarking Report and they were all entered into the Prize Draw.

CBG Consultants were the winners and we shall receive a free ticket to attend the European CEO Conference 2016 on 9-10 November, Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge, London.

This year’s 2016 Benchmarking Report, now in its 11th year, will include a record number of major firms participating. The Benchmarking Report examines important industry trends and provides valuable insight across a wide range of members’ performance metrics. Highlights of the Benchmarking Report will be presented at this year’s European CEO Conference.

Piper’s Corner School

After two years of design, and a further year’s construction, it’s curtains-up for Pipers Corner School’s brand new theatre and arts centre.

Working closely with Nichols Brown Webber Architects, CBG Consultants have designed a state of the art new facility to professional theatre standards. Ventilation systems have been specially designed to ensure good acoustic performance in the auditorium, and the building features a very high degree of air tightness to reduce energy consumption.

CBG worked with specialist lighting suppliers to develop a dimmer capable of smoothly transitioning the house lighting right down to zero, without the usual “snap-off” experienced with LED lighting. Other innovations include a flexible artwork mounting and lighting system, and wireless audio-visual streaming to projectors. The stalls seating is mounted on a flexible rostra system, allowing seating and even the stage location to be reconfigured to suit different performances. This had a big impact on the services design, in particular the fresh air supply which distributes below the moveable seating.

Beaudesert Park School Performing Arts Centre Short Listed for RIBA Awards in South West

CBG are delighted to hear that MEB Design’s work as lead architect for the new Performing Arts Centre at Beaudesert Park School has been nominated for the 2016 RIBA South West Awards.

Knowle & Son were the main contractor and worked alongside quantity surveyors Mildred Howells, structural engineers Hydrock and CBG provided the M&E services and BIM.

The finished Centre at Beaudesert has a flexible hall space which accommodates a full range of school activites and productions. The glazed foyerspace provides additional activity space and its mirror finish flexible wall creates a dance studio environment. There is space back of house as well as first floor balconies to both the Foyer and Auditorium. The part underground Music department includes dedicated acoustic practice Rooms and staff facilities.

It’s a beautifully designed contemporary building which sits within the existing buildings and the natural landscape.

The Ruskin School of Art Officially Opens New Arts Faculty

CBG are delighted to have been involved in this major project in Oxford.

This new build for Ruskin School of Arts – officially opened on 22 October – has a stunning range of studios, sculpture workshops, photography, multi-media suites, audio-visual systems and performance spaces.

Working with Spratley Studios, Turner & Townsend and Price & Myers, CBG were responsible for providing the energy and ventilation strategy for the new £4M building. The mechanical services design has helped achieve a reduction in CO2 of 32% in comparison with the latest building regulations (Part L 2013). This was achieved through use of innovations such as a ‘fabric first’ approach which, when coupled with low air tightness, has reduced the heating demand whilst also limiting the risk of Summer time over-heating. The building also has solar voltaic panels to help meet the electrical demand.

The whole outcome supports Oxford University’s core sustainability philosophy and environmental targets.

Great building – great outcome which provides a fantastic backdrop for arts students.

To find out more about our approaches to innovative M&E design and sustainable solutions speak to Zahid Ashraf at CBG on 01865 864500

CBG wins contract for the first non-residential Passivhaus project in Oxford

CBG are pleased to announce that we have been appointed the Passivhaus and M&E consultants for a new Hub building for Kellogg College.

Working in collaboration with the architect Fielden Clegg Bradley Studio, this building is set to be the first non-domestic Passivhaus in Oxford and it’s a first for the University of Oxford.

As Passivhaus consultants, we are responsible for guiding the design team to ensure that the design meets the stringent Passivhaus requirements. This includes providing advice on construction detailing, product specification, insulation and services design.

The Passivhaus methodology has been proven to produce buildings with an exceptionally low energy demand and the highest standards of occupation comfort. The benefits of this approach are:

To find out more about this project and other Passivhaus innovations, speak to Ross Thompson, Senior Sustainability & Energy Engineer at CBG on 01865 864500

Image: Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios

CBG Consultants -“Consultancy of the Year” Finalists at the CIBSE Awards 2015!

We are proud to announce that CBG Consultants were shortlisted for the Building Services Consultancy of the year (up to 100 employees) Award at last night’s CIBSE Awards.

The event took place at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in London and welcomed some of the country’s leading and most forward-thinking companies in the industry. CIBSE Awards take place each year, striving to recognise and highlight sustainable excellence in building performance. The event was hosted by Steph McGovern (Business Reporter and former Young Engineer for Britain). Guest speaker Dr Ken Shuttleworth (founding partner of Make Architects) gave an inspirational speech emphasising the importance of smart environmental design, and the role of the engineer in ensuring its implementation is realised.

With multiple categories in the awards competition, the aim of the event is to appreciate and shine a spotlight on companies who recognise the need for improvement in energy efficiency and provide solutions which out-perform today’s set guidelines, inspiring the industry to reach out for an altogether “greener” future. For the “Consultancy of the year” category, the judging panel determined the shortlist by identifying consultancies which have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the design or refurbishment of buildings which result in outstanding performance, occupant satisfaction, comfort and energy performance throughout the operating life. CBG Consultants were honoured to be recognised as one of the Finalists; we are committed to providing professional services that preserve, and where possible improve the environment.