The 26th November 2020 saw the official launch of the NABERS UK energy rating system.
NABERS UK is a new scheme for rating the operational energy efficiency of UK offices, which will play a vital role in bridging the performance gap between the design and in-use energy performance of offices in the UK and create much needed transparency for the market.
The NABERS UK scheme has been developed by Better Building Partnership, via their Design for Performance initiative, in close collaboration with the Australian NABERS programme.
The system measures and verifies the actual energy use of existing offices, providing a rating from 1-6 stars to help building owners accurately target, measure and communicate the energy performance of their buildings, demonstrating whether they are on a net zero carbon trajectory.
For new office developments & refurbishments, developers will be able to use the Design for Performance process to target a NABERS Energy rating at the design stage, which can be used to verify performance when the building is occupied.
Hannan Associates are very proud to be working as part of Legal & General Investment Management’s team for the design of the Ralli Quays office and hotel scheme in Salford. This project is one of only 14 office developments in the UK pioneering Better Building Partnership’s Design for Performance initiative.
CGI of Ralli Quays scheme
Ralli Quays Thermal Model
As part of our package on this development we are utilising complex thermal modelling software to accurately simulate HVAC plant and control networks for each building to ascertain the predicted in use operational energy consumptions. This is vital in providing a building-integrated approach where the HVAC systems and building are assessed as a whole, allowing all gains/losses, heat transfer and thermal mass in the building to be accounted for alongside system performance.
The output for in use energy is also used to assess the building’s future proofing against the UKGBC and Paris target emissions.
The launch of NABERS UK comes at a critical time, as the built environment comes under increasing pressure to meet net zero carbon targets and we await the imminent release of the UK government’s energy performance white paper.
Hannan Associates are very proud to be part of Legal & General Investment Management’s team designing the Ralli Quays office and hotel scheme in Salford.
This project is one of only 13 office developments in the UK pioneering the Design for Performance initiative.
The UK’s approach to building design has typically been centred around design for compliance, which has led to a known energy performance gap between how buildings are designed to perform and how in reality they actually perform. As the construction sector comes under increasing pressure to improve its sustainability and meet legislative and developing standards, not least the 2050 ‘Net Zero’ Paris Agreement & intermediate targets, more effective solutions are required.
The Design for Performance initiative was devised by The Better Buildings Partnership alongside NABERS to help close this energy performance gap by providing the UK with an approach based on measurable performance outcomes rather than solely using design based criteria to assess a building’s impact.
As part of our package on this project we are utilising complex thermal modelling software to accurately simulate HVAC plant and control networks for each building in order to ascertain the predicted in use operational energy consumptions for a variety of on-axis and off-axis scenarios.
Thermal Model of Ralli Quays
This is vital in providing a building-integrated approach where the HVAC systems and building are assessed as a whole; allowing all gains/losses, heat transfer and thermal mass in the building to be accounted for alongside system performance and thus allowing us to address the performance gap created by the out of date methodology to design buildings for compliance.
We can accurately assess the results of simulations and check against the latest Energy Performance Targets based on the successful Australian NABERS approach. The output for in use energy is also used to assess the building’s future proofing against the UKGBC Paris target emissions.
The Base Building Energy Rating (BBER) tool developed by Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) has been used to measure energy performance of landlord services in multi tenanted office buildings against a 7 star scale – the higher the star score the more efficient the energy performance of the landlord services. This will be used to predict the star rating of the Ralli Quays office.
We are very pleased to be working alongside EPR Architects, DPP One, Turner & Townsend, Walker Sime, Clancy Consulting, Colliers on this project.
If you would like to speak to us about Design for Performance and low carbon design, please give us a call or drop us an email.
Offices, in all forms, have been at the core of our business for over 30 years.
Our extensive experience in this sector along with continued training and research means that we can contribute in depth knowledge of a wide range of Building Services design solutions available for office environments and advice on cost in use. Our engineers understand what our clients and end-users expect and need from the 21st Century workplace.
The latest BREEAM scheme was launched back in March 2018. Two years on, how are design teams finding it?
As we are all aware, there has been a significant increase in media coverage on climate change in recent years. There has been a notable increase in flooding, more forest fires around the world from Australia to California, and major deforestation of the tropical rainforests to make way for animal agriculture. Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have risen up in response to these disasters and the increasing amount of evidence stacking up is hard to ignore – things need to change.
Most people agree that the climate crisis needs addressing. It is something that clients are concerned about too and it seems that BRE is looking to harness this sudden wave of activity.
The 2018 New Construction scheme places a real focus on completing sustainability actions much earlier in the design process. There are a whole host of credits which need to be completed at Concept Stage design or earlier.
Ene01 – Energy workshops for future operational energy
Mat01 – Embodied Carbon in Construction Materials
The key change that seems to be catching a lot of teams out, is the introduction of life cycle assessment of materials (Mat01 LCA). This seems to be being confused with life cycle costings – which do form a part of the scheme under Man02 and can be assessed alongside the LCA but are different credits.
The Mat01 LCA seeks to bring the embodied carbon within construction materials into better understanding, enabling teams to select materials with a lower embodied carbon. Extraction, processing, packaging, and transport processes– the emissions associated with construction material can be vast before the building is even operational.
One of the difficulties in achieving these credits is how early they are required to be completed. Options appraisals for LCA must be carried out and submitted to BRE before planning permission is applied for. The logic being that once planning is approved, the design of a building is fairly fixed and the opportunity to select different materials is limited.
The materials section has also had its weighting increased to 15% – the second highest weighted category after Energy. It is a section which needs taking very seriously if Excellent ratings are required.
Transport is the other section which has had a major overhaul. A travel assessment must be completed by stage 2, with a variety of sustainable transport options assessed under Tra02 to accumulate points which convert into credits depending on the public transport accessibility of the location. Points are awarded for implementing measures such as EV charging points, car sharing schemes and dedicated spaces; increasing amenities and public transport services and consultation with the local authority on the local cycling network.
There is no doubt that there is more onus on all members of the design team to incorporate BREEAM into the design from the beginning, and the MEP design makes up a significant part of this.
Passive design analysis, and LZC feasibility studies must be completed by Concept Design, plus for higher BREEAM ratings such as Excellent.
Ene01 has also had changes with credits awarded for undertaking a stage 2 energy workshop in relation to informing additional and more accurate modelling of operational energy at stage 4.
Buildings which have their heating and hot water demand met completely through electricity also score higher than buildings which are still utilising gas boilers under Pol02, therefore favouring solutions such as heat pumps and VRF systems.
Architects are usually the team involved in a new building before any other, and key decisions are often made before the decision to undertake a BREEAM assessment is decided.
Many decisions relating to material efficiency, building orientations, layouts and how the building will cope with changing climate are made as part of any evolving discussion with the client, but we are seeing the need to increasingly undertake these reviews in relation to sustainability. Wst05 & Wst06 reports are required to be completed by stage 2, with input into the Mat01 assessment.
Rewarding Joined up Thinking
In addition to the early actions, there are more requirements for linking design work across the stages and across disciplines. Mat01 LCA must be carried out at concept design, and again at technical design. The same applies for designs for disassembly and functional adaptability, with revisions also needed for sustainable procurement plans. Joined up thinking is also rewarded with an exemplary credit available where life cycle costings and life cycle assessment of materials is completed at the same time, and another exemplary credit where all credits associated with addressing climate change are achieved.
BRE – Pushing Best Practice Forward
BREEAM New Construction 2018 seeks to push the best practice of the construction sector forwards. Should concrete framed buildings that don’t consider operational energy really be classed as ‘Excellent’ rated sustainable buildings?
Should buildings which are built on greenfield sites with limited replacement planting really be classed as sustainable?
The questions are challenging, but options for the built environment are becoming more difficult to rationalise in the face of the emerging climate crisis.
For more details of our BREEAM related services please visit our BREEAM page. If you would like to talk to us about BREEAM 2018 in more detail please drop us an email.
The third and final phase of the Slate Yard Build to Rent scheme at New Bailey Salford has reached its highest point of development at 21 storeys.
The £30M apartment block is the largest of the three residential buildings and includes 21 storeys and 199 apartments with one, two and three bedrooms. The Slate Yard provides tenants with leisure and retail facilities at ground floor level, car parking spaces and pedestrian & cycle routes to Irwell River Park.
The design of the building and the services strategy utilises energy efficient features throughout to minimise its carbon and environmental footprint and meet the sustainable standards set out in the Part L Building Regulations.
Passive construction techniques in the design of the building include enhanced insulation to limit heat loss and an engineered façade design to maximise the use of natural daylight & passive solar gains but minimise overheating.
The Incorporation of high efficiency systems and effective controls throughout the design will help to further minimise energy usage. These features include: smart heating controls, heat recovery ventilation systems, energy efficient lighting and energy efficient lifts.
Photovoltaic panels have been incorporated into the building design to meet a proportion of the electrical demand.
The Slate Yard is one of several schemes we are involved with as part of the £650m New Bailey development scheme being delivered by The English Cities Fund, a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal and General and Homes England.
We are proud to be a part of the team delivering this important regeneration scheme which aims to create a gateway between Manchester and Salford and provide business opportunities for large and small organisations.
In recent years we have supported our clients with the delivery of residential accommodation to the value of around £400M, playing a key role in developments for the For Sale, Private Rental, High End, Social and Retirement markets.
As Building Services consultants we focus on using engineering and technology to help create desirable places to live which meet the needs and expectations of residents. Our track record in this sector provides us with a knowledge of the key drivers but equally we recognise the need to continually respond to market changes especially as the need for more new homes in the UK increases.
We understand the balance of development deliverables and financial viability and achieve this by always seeking the optimum design.
Our approach to sustainability is to follow the Energy Hierarchy, which encourages the inclusion of energy efficient design features throughout the development to minimise both the carbon and environmental footprint and to meet sustainable standards set by Clients, Planning & Building Regulations.
Our strategy embraces a Lean, Mean and Green approach through the use of advanced building modelling software and passive design techniques such as improving building fabric elements and air tightness criteria beyond the level required to comply with the Building Regulations.
We incorporate high-efficiency systems and effective controls throughout the design such as, gas fired condensing boilers to provide both hot water and heating with an efficiency of up to 98% and energy efficient LED lighting where practicable. Mechanical ventilation systems which include heat recovery and low specific fan powers are specified in order to keep costs to a minimum whilst maintaining high level of energy efficiency.
Renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels and/or solar thermal are incorporated where possible to achieve CO2 targets or provide desirable benefits.
Overheating in Homes
Rising environmental temperatures, changes in building types, the drive towards energy efficiency and poor installation practice all contribute towards overheating issues in homes. These issues alongside the ever increasing demand for new homes increases the need for improved design solutions to counter overheating.
As Building Services Engineering consultants we are involved in an increasing number of high and low rise residential schemes where it is our responsibility to help clients find the appropriate design solutions to mitigate or control overheating.
Using the latest BRE approved dynamic simulation modelling software to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and relevant standards we build and carry out detailed thermal modelling analysis to assess the risk of overheating.
The thermal model we develop allows us to compare how the various building envelope, shading or ventilation methods compare when limiting overheating. It also factors in site specific constraints such as acoustic restrictions and air quality and can analyse these factors whilst maintaining energy efficiency to comply with Building Regulations.
Post-occupancy Testing and Lessons Learnt
As an organisation, we endeavour to learn from our previous projects through engagement with clients, the design and construction teams, and purchasers and occupiers. Post-occupancy evaluations are regularly undertaken to identify both positive elements from our designs and any areas that could potentially be improved.
This history of interaction with purchasers and occupiers has led to numerous design improvements. These include the use of smart metering and heating controls, which have dramatically improved the building’s environment thus creating better places to live. Also, the installation of electric vehicle charging points, to both encourage low carbon emission transport and to minimise the impact of the development on local air quality.
If you would like any advice from a member of our residential team about an existing or future project please contact Jamie Hall or Sean Duffy.
One of the most eco-friendly new eco-buildings in the North West is Phase 2 of the Stockport Exchange development by Muse Developments. A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Regional Award-winner, it is in the running for a National Award in November and was described by the judges as “…the first Grade A, BREEAM Excellent, office to be speculatively developed in Stockport for many years”.
At Hannan Associates we have worked with Muse Developments and many other developers to design the most environmentally-friendly building services.
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