Thermal modelling enables you to determine the thermal performance of a building at the design stage. Using computer software you can design, construct and occupy a building test drive its performance! This allows you to optimise the thermal performance of the building whilst minimising its impact on the environment.
Need for thermal modelling
The building is often referred to as our second skin protecting use from the external environment. The building fabric acts as a climate modifier, and the speed at which it does this is dependent on its thermal mass, heavyweight buildings respond slowly whereas lightweight buildings are more susceptible to rapid change in temperatures.
The internal conditions are a result of the thermal response of the building to external weather conditions and the resulting conditions are critical in the design of heating and cooling systems for the building. Using thermal modeling software enables the use of realistic conditions to determine the thermal performance of a building and design the systems accordingly. Calculations are based on dynamic conditions rather than steady state calculations.
Thermal modeling can look at the building as a whole:
Building design can be optimised quickly and accurately.
Once the function of the building has been realised and concept designs are being developed, thermal modelling software can assist by providing strategic information on:
Orientation look at impact on solar gain, evaluate overheating
Glazing assess amount of glazing, evaluate overheating, look at low-e glazing, solar shading e.g. blinds, louvers, brise soleil
Daylight analysis look at Daylight Factors, optimise the amount of natural daylight in the building design
Shading analysis evaluate levels of shading on building or gardens, determine shading impact of proposed development on existing buildings
Materials selection look at different combinations of materials to improve U-value and reduce energy demand in building, test heavyweight vs lightweight thermal mass levels
Ventilation strategy look at improving natural ventilation, designing out mechanical systems, compare passive and active cooling systems
Heating and cooling loads
The lifecycle cost of a building can be calculated using thermal simulation software. Simulation software predicts the annual energy consumption of the building, therefore the running costs of the building can be calculated. The lifecycle cost of the equipment can then be calculated by including the capital cost and maintenance cost of the equipment.
By designing out mechanical systems and investing in higher capital cost materials, the lifecycle cost saving and payback period can be easily calculated.
Part L Compliance
Our Sustainable Design Consultants can carry out detailed dynamic predictive modelling of a proposed scheme to test-drive the design before detailed work commences. The modelling software enables us to provide Part L compliance calculations and certification for submission to Building Control.
Established in 1991 and based in Uckfield and London, JPA provide sustainable Building Services Consultancy solutions for clients. We provide cost effective designs and advice relating to heating, lighting, ventilation, data and life safety systems.
The company is at the forefront of low energy design and now have a dedicated team that provides Sustainability/Building Regulations advice to clients through IES Thermal Modelling technology in house. JPA work with public and private clients including: VUE Cinemas, Cluttons, many central Government agencies, County Councils, the University of Derby and the national Fire Control Project., and have extensive experience in the Education, Commercial, Healthcare, Historic Buildings, Retail, Leisure and Residential construction sectors.
Sam is a well known article writer for topics like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, Sustainable Design and Construction and many more.