SIMPLICITY IN DESIGN

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Designing a nett zero carbon rated building

Zero carbon building design is a gradual, strategic process focused on energy savings, practical end-user functionality and stunning features.

Robert Whetham Associates are Mechanical & Electrical Design Consultants. We collaborate with contractors on a range of projects across many sectors, with increasing focus on nett zero carbon rated building projects.

What is the process in designing a nett zero carbon rated building?

We begin with design measures to reduce the energy consumption, and therefore carbon emissions.

Passive design measures

There are several passive design measures that can be implemented to reduce energy consumption.

Building fabric improvement

This involves the improvement of U-values which is the rate of transfer of heat through a structure. Measured in W/m²K, the lower the U-value, the better insulated the structure is.

 

Designing a nett zero carbon rated building

Daylighting strategy

Maximising daylighting levels with full height glazing reduces the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours.

Solar shading

Solar shading with devices such as Brise Soleil, deflects direct sunlight and significantly reduces heat gain through large glass doors and windows, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning systems.

Ventilation

We facilitate natural ventilation by installing windows that can be easily opened, reducing the need for mechanical ventilation which consumes energy.

Other passive design measures

As well as the core measures above, to reduce energy consumption we would also consider:

– The site location
– Site weather
– Any microclimate
– Building layout
– Building orientation – positioning against seasonal variations such as the sun’s path or prevailing winds
– Building occupancy type

 

Designing a nett zero carbon rated building

Baseline Model

From the passive design exercise, we derive a baseline model. This will typically include a gas fired boiler or other heating source.

The baseline model is a clearly defined project plan and fixed reference point to measure a project’s progress. It will include passive design measures and the proposed servicing strategy, but without any low zero carbon (LZC) technology incorporated.

Estimated baseline energy demand

An estimated baseline energy demand, energy cost, and regulated greenhouse gas (GHG) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions will be calculated for the proposed building from the baseline modelling exercise.

The potential impact of LZC technologies

The next stage is to evaluate the energy and cost impact of potentially suitable LZC technologies against the baseline model. Typically, the possible LZC technologies to be considered and evaluated would be:

– District heating from a centralised location through a system of insulated pipes
– Combined heating and power (CHP) plant where the heat boils water to make steam, which drives a power source (maybe a turbine) to make a generator create electricity
– Solar photovoltaic panels (PV)
– Solar thermal hot water
– Wind turbines
– Biomass boilers
– Air source heat pumps
– Ground source heat pumps
– Water source heat pumps
– Hydropower

The impact of incorporating the chosen LZC technologies, and the savings they create against the baseline model, are then assessed. Recommendations are made based on the results of the assessment, which are then incorporated into the design.

Robert Whetham, Managing Director Comments.

“We undertake a range of mechanical and electrical design projects spanning Education, Healthcare, Industrial and Commercial and the Emergency Services. We are currently undertaking a number of zero carbon building projects, for example Crewe Fire Station.”

 

Designing a nett zero carbon rated building

The result of the process

The end result of the above process is energy efficient buildings. Nett zero carbon building design is a complex process, but the mandate for energy efficiency is clear.

Nett zero carbon buildings require strategic planning and an eye for appealing design. The key is to find the sweet spot of outstanding energy efficiency and impressive end-user benefits.

Can we help?

For expert help or advice in constructing a nett zero carbon building, please get in touch with the team at Robert Whetham Associates. We design building services for new build nett zero carbon buildings, and facilitate a reduction in the carbon emissions of existing buildings.

 

Mechanical and electrical design consultants in key sectors

Robert Whetham Associates are Mechanical and Electrical Design Consultants. We work primarily within the education, healthcare, industrial and commercial sectors, as well as for the emergency services and railways.

Each of these sectors presents different challenges for Mechanical and Electrical Design Consultants. The mechanical and electrical services design, whether it’s for a new build or restoration project, is central to its construction and intended use.

When you consider the extent of mechanical and electrical services in a building or development, it’s easy to appreciate how central the role of the mechanical and electrical design consultant is. At a very basic level, the M&E design consultant is responsible for the location and function of the mechanical infrastructure, heating, ventilation, power supply, power distribution, telecoms, IT, control systems etc.

 

Mechanical and electrical design consultants in key sectors

 

Education and healthcare

In education and healthcare, there is a heavy footfall and constant use of services. For healthcare it’s a 24/7 demand. The mechanical and electrical design consultant needs to prepare for all eventualities, so must fully understand the requirements and pressures on the building. Robert Whetham Associates are experts in these fields, so can offer the client valuable insight from previous experience.

Industrial and commercial

Clients within the industrial and commercial sectors each have unique requirements. A mechanical and electrical design consultant might need to design the mechanical and electrical services for a large industrial unit, an office block, a high rise building, apartments, hospitality and many other types of building. These all have different specifications to adhere to. How designs are applied to renovations also presents different challenges to new builds.

Mechanical and electrical design consultants in key sectors

 

Emergency services and railways

In fire stations, the mechanical and electrical services need to handle the extraction of smoke and combustion generated in training sessions, while meeting environmental criteria and air quality standards. Robert Whetham Associates have the experience in this area to facilitate these requirements within safety guidelines.

In the railway industry, Robert Whetham Associates are one of very few M&E design consultants who are RISQS (Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme) accredited. This gives clients in the railway industry confidence in our supply and installation of mechanical and electrical services, knowing that our expertise has been endorsed by a trusted industry organisation.

How can we help?

For expert help and advice from time-served Mechanical and Electrical Design Consultants, please get in touch with the team at Robert Whetham.

M&E Engineers impact on Manchester’s redevelopment

Robert Whetham Associates are leading M&E engineers based in Manchester. Mechanical and electrical services are key to any construction project. As M&E design consultants in Manchester, we have played a pivotal role in the success of many local and national construction developments.

 

Robert Whetham Associates are leading M&E engineers based in Manchester. Mechanical and electrical services are key to any construction project. As M&E design consultants in Manchester, we have played a pivotal role in the success of many local and national construction developments.

 

The Manchester property scene is undergoing major change

Manchester has experienced a property build and redevelopment boom over the last decade that is set to continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Skyscrapers, office blocks and apartment buildings will continue to transform Manchester’s ever-changing skyline.

As MEP consultants (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) based in Manchester, Robert Whetham Associates are proud to be involved in this key period of change for the city. The majority of the redevelopment that will require the services of M&E engineers is in areas that have been earmarked for regeneration for some time such as Deansgate, Mayfield and NOMA.

Some of our own recent projects include Manchester Metropolitan University, Coventry Fire Station and Harter Street Apartments in Manchester City Centre. We have contributed to these, and other projects, either as M&E engineers, M&E design consultants, mechanical design consultants or electrical services consultants.

 

M&E Engineers’ impact on Manchester’s redevelopment

 

How we get involved

Our involvement in each project varies. We can project manage, or collaborate with other contractors under the leadership of the client or their nominated main contractor. With almost two decades of experience as M&E engineers in Manchester, the value to the client of our involvement soon becomes obvious. Our tenacity in finding solutions to problems that may initially appear insurmountable can save considerable time and cost.

Expertise in mechanical and electrical services offers a significant benefit to any construction site. Whether it’s a small project or a major development, mechanical design consultants bring innovation and practical solutions to refurbishments or new build developments that are transforming city spaces.

How can we help?

For expert help and advice from time-served M&E engineers in Manchester, please get in touch with the team at Robert Whetham. We’d be delighted to share our experience and industry insight to assist with both local and national projects.

Why MEP design consultants are essential for building projects

Robert Whetham are MEP design consultants based in Manchester. We work on a wide range of building projects across a variety of sectors such as education, healthcare, industrial and commercial and emergency services.

 

Why MEP design consultants are essential for building projects

 

What are MEP design consultants?

 

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing design consultants provide engineering expertise to create and manage the MEP systems of a building.

Mechanical: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, heaters, smoke control etc.

Electrical: fire alarms, security alarms, smoke alarms, power supply, telecommunications etc.

Plumbing: water and waste management, sewers, fire suppression systems etc.

MEP engineers work closely with architects and end clients throughout the entirety of a project, from pre-design of a building through to post-construction.

The focus of MEP consultants is on implementing efficiencies and ensuring that building systems operate safely, and to their full potential.

 

Why use MEP design consultants on building projects?

 

Ongoing cost savings and efficiencies

MEP engineers design building systems that offer optimum performance, while keeping building projects within budget. Ongoing operational costs of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, plumbing, energy consumption, maintenance and safety solutions are all minimised as part of the design.

Customised solutions

Problem solving is one of the main roles of an MEP design consultant. Given a challenge within a build project, MEP consultants draw on their expertise to design a customised solution that best improves efficiencies for that particular building.

Collaboration with contractors

MEP consultants collaborate with other contractors to provide the best solutions for each building and its inhabitants. In some cases, MEP engineers will project manage the build. The MEP consultant will ensure that all systems work together which reduces delays and unnecessary additional costs.

Safety and security

MEP consultants ensure that build projects are safe, secure and comply with the latest UK building regulations, without compromising on efficiencies.

 

How can we help?

 

For expert help and advice from time-served M&E engineers, please get in touch with the team at Robert Whetham. We are M&E consultants in Manchester, experienced and ready to assist with both local and national projects.