Delivery and performance of a low-energy ventilation and cooling strategy

2009-09-08T13:08:17Z (GMT) by C. Alan Short Malcolm Cook Kevin Lomas
There is an appreciable literature exploring environmental design strategies for low-energy, naturally ventilated and cooled buildings, but less is recorded about their implementation in practice. The commissioning and monitoring of the passive downdraught-cooled UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), London, is reported. The building contractor, his suppliers and subcontractors experienced considerable difficulty in achieving defect-free environmental systems, adversely affecting the practical delivery of the strategy for an extended period. The design team was closely involved throughout this period to assist in establishing a stable controls regime reflecting the design intent. However, this intent was itself modified by feedback provided by monitoring. The widely used professional appointment and construction contracts employed for this project do not envisage the need for such extensive commissioning. However, it is argued here that the new generation of advanced naturally ventilated buildings, much encouraged by policy-makers worldwide, will require just such a comprehensive commissioning exercise to deliver anything like their full designed performance.