The National Assembly for Wales Richard Rogers Partnership

Following devolution, the Principality of Wales was granted greater autonomy resulting in the need for an assembly building for which the Richard Rogers Partnership was appointed architects with environmental engineer BDSP. It is a classic example of architect and engineer working in concert from the earliest stage of the project. The design brief was for a building which reflected the democratic nature of government whilst also being a landmark example of low energy design. It also has to last 100 years. Given this lifespan, embodied energy will only be a tiny fraction of the energy in use over the life of the building, so the primary aim was to drive down operational energy demand. The engineers are confident that the building will use no more than 50 per cent of the energy of a building conforming Regulations in this location.

The roofed public spaces offer a phased progression in terms of environmental control from a minimum at the entrance overlooking Cardiff Bay to the highly controlled debating chamber at the heart of the complex. Airflow over and around the building has been modelled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Ventilation air enters at low level since there is little low level pollution, and rises through the debating and reception chambers through the stack effect. The rotating roof cowls ensure that the grilles for exhaust air are always in the lee of the wind which is predominantly from the south west. The curved member on the top of the cowl has an aerofoil profile creating negative pressure on the underside thus assisting the extraction of exhaust air (Figure 18.1).

The results of extensive modelling of solar penetration and daylight at different times of day and at all seasons of the year have been factored into the design. When completed it should prove to be one of the most accessible and user-friendly parliamentary buildings of any state or principality in Europe.

Figure 18.1

National Assembly for Wales (photograph Eamonn O'Mahony)

Figure 18.1

National Assembly for Wales (photograph Eamonn O'Mahony)

Services link to Crickhowell House

Access link to Crickhowell House

Wind pressure assisted vitiated air exhausted from debating chamber/reception via rotating wind cowls

South westerly prevailing wind direction

Solar altitude for July @ 1.30pm

Access link to Crickhowell House

Wind pressure assisted vitiated air exhausted from debating chamber/reception via rotating wind cowls

South westerly prevailing wind direction

Solar altitude for July @ 1.30pm

Wind Roof Richard Rogers

Solar altitude for September [email protected] 2.30pm

Wind screen breaks

ENVIRONMENTAL KEY

¡^ ] Semi-sheltered external environment

Void below grd floor for services distributions

Solar altitude for September [email protected] 2.30pm

Wind screen breaks

ENVIRONMENTAL KEY

¡^ ] Semi-sheltered external environment

|_| Sheltered external environment i j Low level of controlled internal environment

¡Tj Fully/partially controlled internal environment

Void below grd floor for services distributions

Ground floor plant room below entrance steps containing:

-Heat rejection cooling/heating plant

-Pump circuits

-Rainwater harvesting tank

-Sprinkler protection bulk storage tank (if required)

-Air handling ventilation plant

-Standby generator set

-Transformer and LV switch room

Figure 18.2

Welsh Assembly natural light and ventilation diagrams

Light And Ventilation

Figure 18.3

Welsh Assembly detail of natural light and ventilation Zuckermann Institute for Connective

Environmental Research (ZICER) RMJM Architects

Figure 18.3

Welsh Assembly detail of natural light and ventilation Zuckermann Institute for Connective

Environmental Research (ZICER) RMJM Architects

The University of East Anglia has a reputation for commissioning environmentally advanced buildings. The Elizabeth Fry building set the standard for low energy university buildings (see Smith and Pitts, ibid.). As part of the School of Environmental Sciences, the ZICER building has set even higher standards of bioclimatic performance with the Elizabeth Fry building acting as the benchmark. Designed by RMJM Architects and Whitbybird for the building physics, this building was conceived to make a powerful statement about sustainable design. It was designed to represent an improvement over Elizabeth Fry in several respects, including:

• better construction standards with a higher standard of air tightness;

• higher standard of insulation;

• higher standard windows;

• lower energy fans with better controls and lower pressure ductwork;

• heat and cool energy from a central university CHP system;

• better mixing of extract air for heat recovery (Figure 18.4).

Zicer Building

Figure 18.4

ZICER building south elevation with facade and roof PVs

The 3000 m2 building was opened in 2003 and is principally a research facility with a mixture of cellular and open plan spaces on the ground, first and second floors. The top floor houses a large seminar and exhibition space in which natural light is moderated by wall and roof PV panels (Figure 18.5).

The basement houses a Virtual Reality Theatre which is the centrepiece of the Social Science for the Environment, Virtual Reality and Experimental Laboratories. This facility provides opportunities for research into environmental decision making within real and hypothetical landscapes.

Overall, it is expected to realise a total energy use of 77 kWh/m2/year despite the fact that it houses at least 150 computer terminals. It should achieve this record breaking performance by a combination of energy efficient construction and electricity production from PV cells in facade and roof. The building is linked to the main teaching block by a glazed bridge from an atrium at its eastern end.

ZICER has an impressive array of sustainability credentials.

First, the design had to achieve a high level of air tightness, with a target permeable rate of 3.0 m3/h/m2 at a pressure of 50 pascals (Pa). In practice it performs even better than this.

Second, the elements of the building have U-values substantially better than are required by the current Building Regulations, for example:

walls 0.10 W/m2K

floors 0.16 W/m2K

roof 0.13 W/m2K

windows 1.0W/m2K triple glazed

Figure 18.4

ZICER building south elevation with facade and roof PVs

Figure 18.5

ZICER building Seminar Room with facade and roof PVs and thermal mass suspended ceiling panels

Figure 18.5

ZICER building Seminar Room with facade and roof PVs and thermal mass suspended ceiling panels

Suspended Ceiling Detailing Glass Facade

Third, thermal modelling of the building indicated the use of natural ventilation on the south elevation with fresh air entering at low level, rising through thermal buoyancy to pass behind the PV facade of the seminar space to remove heat from solar gain and the action of the PVs. Exhaust air is expelled at high level on the north elevation. Thermal mass at ceiling level on the top floor helps to ensure that no additional cooling is required. A TermoDeck ventilation system comprising hollow core concrete slabs supplies air to the floors via vertical ducts. The air is released to rooms through louvers controlled by the building management system. This is still undergoing fine tuning. The high thermal mass of the floor slabs flattens the peaks and troughs of temperature. Users are also provided with opening windows.

Fourth, the top floor features 402.5 m2 of double glazed laminated monocrystalline PVs for the roof and polycrystalline PVs for the facade with a rated output of 33 kWp. The PVs are grid connected to offset the electricity consumption of the building (Figure 18.5).

Fifth is the fact that artificial lighting using low energy luminaries and controls is mostly subject to movement sensors which can be overridden by local switching when required.

Finally, attention has been paid to the environmental sensitivity of materials used in construction. Recycled aggregate and timber from certified sustainable sources have been used. Most of the concrete, steel, aluminium and insulation are capable of being recycled.

The finishing touch is provided by over 70 covered cycle spaces coupled with locker spaces and shower facilities. A large waste storage space at lower ground level allows waste to be sorted into appropriate recycling containers.

SOCIAL HOUSING

Beaufort Court, Lillie Road, Fulham, London, 2003

Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects

This is a high density development which epitomises the government's policy on affordable housing, embracing shared ownership and key worker rental provision. The accommodation ranges from one bedroom flats to family apartments. Its social credentials are particularly signalled by the fact that it contains an element sponsored by the Rough Sleepers Initiative.

Two things make this scheme stand out.

First, it is a low energy building constructed well in excess of Building Regulations and fulfils the aims of sustainable development. The aim has been to surpass best practice for energy efficiency and provide affordable warmth for all its inhabitants. Its energy efficiency is achieved by:

• high levels of thermal insulation and draught sealing;

• assisted passive stack ventilation with humidity controlled dampers to the kitchens and bathrooms;

• the atria that serve the six-storey block have south facing glazing and are naturally ventilated at night to moderate summer temperatures;

• low energy, high efficiency lighting throughout;

• units designed to maximise natural lighting;

• trees introduced to the site, improving air quality and providing some insulation from the noise of adjacent roads

• the roofs of two low blocks covered with sedum which provides a habitat for wildlife and reduces the runoff from rainwater.

Second, the method of construction involves three aspects of off-site fabrication:

• a prefabricated steel load-bearing system with large-scale cold-rolled panels;

• large-scale hot-rolled elements;

• three-dimensional modular construction.

Wall Bearing Prefab Apartment

It is the first social housing project in the UK to incorporate these three off-site fabrication techniques in one scheme. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment described the project as 'one of the more sustainable schemes to be built anywhere in England because it sharply addresses energy efficiency and life maintenance cost, combined with a range of generously proportioned, well laid out, affordable accommodation' (Building for Life Gold Standard) (Figure 18.6).

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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