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Over the past twelve months, Richard Hodkinson Consultancy has invested significant resources developing our energy modelling capabilities to assist our clients. We use 3D modeling software tools such as DesignBuilder and Hevacomp for strategic heating design, cooling design, HVAC simulation, overheating assessments, daylight and sunlight analysis.

SBEM Part L Compliance: DesignBuilder uses data such as the energy consumption, carbon emissions, occupant comfort and the daylight availability of a building model, so that building designs can be checked against Part-L2 of the Building Regulations. SBEM calculation tools are used by our assessors to generate EPCs, highlighting the building energy efficiency.

Energy assessment: We use EnergyPlus simulations to produce Overheating data that can be used to show the number of hours where the temperature of the building is over 28oC (Figure 2). These calculations are often carried out to check the compliance of the building design.

A recent example of what can be provided consists of an assessment highlighting the overheating risk over Part L1a – 2010.


Figure 1 - Energy Building Model - Sun

Figure 1:  Energy building model, highlighting the angle and placement of the sun at specific dates and times the year

Figure 2 - Overheating data

Figure 2: Typical output for overheating data that can be used to show the number of hours where the temperature of the building is below, at or over 28oC

Daylighting: Design Builder provides our assessors with Daylight calculations by creating contour plots that highlight the average daylight factor and uniformity output; these are created on a zone by zone basis. Calculations are carried out by a Radiance Daylighting system within the software. Reports detailing compliance for BREEAM HW1 Daylighting credits, LEED EQ8.1 and Green Star IEQ4 can be provided.

Visualisation: Exporting 3-D DesignBuilder models for further analysis in to programmes such as Google Sketchup and many other 3D modeling programs is also possible. This option within the Software assists with the incorporation of details such as textures and shading into the design allowing the user to gain a better visual understanding of the building performance.

Posted on February 18th, 2013

Author: Chiara Fratter