Building physics is about the transfer of heat, air, light and sound through a building, and the effect this has on its inhabitants, as well as the associated energy implications.

We apply a first principles approach, together with the latest software and techniques, to analyse building designs and develop holistic environmental strategies to deliver occupant comfort and energy efficiency.

  • Energy

    Energy consumption in buildings, and its associated carbon emissions, continues to be a major issue, both in terms of environmental impact, and building operational costs. We promote the ‘fabric first’ approach to energy efficiency, by focusing passive design measures to reduce energy demands. This must be followed by design of efficient building services.

    Renewable energy technology in buildings plays an important part in our nation’s energy mix, with the potential to offer significant savings in energy use, and carbon emissions. We have significant experience in the selection, design and implementation of such systems including Solar PV, Solar Thermal, heat pumps and biomass.

    Our energy services include;

    • Energy audits for existing buildings
    • Energy strategy reports
    • Renewable energy feasibility studies
    • CHP feasibility studies
    • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
    • Display Energy Certificates (DECs)
  • Thermal Comfort & Ventilation

    The environmental conditions within a building have a significant bearing on occupant wellbeing. Control of internal temperatures, and air quality, are key to achieving a habitable environment. The means of providing fresh air to a building links these two aspects; maintaining air quality while avoiding cold draughts in winter, and overheating in summer.

    Buildings with poor thermal comfort are also likely to consume more energy, since space heating input may need to be increased in winter, and mechanical cooling may be required in summer.

    We use dynamic thermal modelling to simulate the behaviour of buildings, enabling the performance of a proposed design, or existing building, to be analysed in depth. The movement of people, heat and air in a building can be modelled, and resulting outputs- temperatures, air quality and energy use- can be assessed against performance criteria.

    Some of our activities include:

    • Natural ventilation analysis
    • Overheating risk analysis using CIBSE TM52
    • London Plan Overheating Analysis
    • Thermal comfort analysis
    • Advanced plant modelling
    • Solar shading analysis
  • Compliance

    We provide consultancy services to meet the requirements of building regulations and planning authorities including:

    • Part L2A CO2 calculations (also known as SBEM or BRUKL document)
    • SAP Calculations for dwellings, from early design stage to post-construction
    • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
    • Display Energy Certificates (DECs)
    • Energy Statements for Planning
    • GLA London Plan Energy & Overheating Statements
  • Daylight

    Daylight is a vital for occupant well-being and energy efficiency, as well as enriching the architectural and aesthetic quality of a building.

    Climate-Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM) goes beyond simplistic approaches of the past, to consider the usefulness of daylight, not just quantity. Rooms with high levels of glazing may be beautifully lit during overcast conditions, but during sunny weather could be uncomfortably bright. In contrast to this, deep plan rooms may be able to achieve a good average daylight level, but poor distribution of daylight means this is not a useful indicator, and in reality, artificial lighting would be in frequent use.

    We provide guidance on how to achieve good daylight design, including building form, façade and glazing optimisation. We carry out daylight analysis for buildings using CBDM software to establish performance against key criteria of Daylight Autonomy (DA) and Useful Daylight Illuminance (UDI).

    Ruskin School of Art is an example of a building where we optimised the glazing design for daylight and overheating.