Offices and institutional buildings

Six performance indicators from Movement for Innovation (M4I). Environmental considerations in the design of offices; passive solar design. Construction technologies: climate facades, floors and ceilings.


• Natural ventilation

• Unassisted natural ventilation

• Gravity ventilation and 'stack effect'

• Mechanically assisted ventilation

• Displacement ventilation

• Cooling strategies' evaporative cooling

• The ecological tower, examples: Commerzbank and Swiss Re

• Ventilation and air movement, summary of recommendations

• Air conditioning as distinct from mechanically assisted ventilation, heating and cooling.

Energy options

• Carbon intensity of different fuels

• Energy distribution in a combined heat and power (CHP) system

• The fuel cell; basic operation of the fuel cell

• Storage techniques - electricity

• Storage techniques - warmth and cooling

• PV applications; building management systems (BMS)

• Energy storage: underground thermal storage, phase change materials, dense storage medium

• Electricity storage to overcome intermittence of supply by renewables:

- Latest battery technology, pump storage

- Creation of hydrogen by reformation of methane etc. and by dedicated PV/electrolyser

- Hydrogen storage by pressurised tanks, metal hydrides

- Regenerative fuel cell storage and 'Regenesys' technology

• Building management systems and Building Energy Management Systems.

Tools for environmental design Lighting - designing for daylight

Factors influencing levels of daylight.

Design considerations - danger of excessive contrast, heat gain, glare. The atrium; light shelves; prismatic glazing; light pipes; holographic glazing; solar shading.

Lighting controls and the human factor

Post-occupancy analysis and differences between expectation and reality; photoelectric control and the human behaviour; dimming control and occupancy sensing; switches; system management, problems relating to occupants and managers; air conditioned offices. Conditions for successful design, e.g. timed controls, occupancy linked control, daylight linked control, localised switching.

Environmental design and common problems

The 'Probe' studies and the lessons from post-occupancy analysis. High profile-low profile; the 'high-tech' demand; operational difficulties; building related illness/sick building syndrome; inherent inefficiencies; common architectural problems; common engineering problems; common failures leading to energy waste; the human factor.

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