Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

The energy-efficient workplace

A new generation of energy-efficient office buildings has been born. Aiming to reduce energy consumption in offices, architectural elements, such as floor slabs for thermal storage, cavities in walls to circulate air and blinds to collect solar gains, were designed and tested. Several design tools were developed and the new concepts were implemented in two buildings.

The performance of these elements has been computer-simulated using several modelling packages for computational fluid dynamics and thermal analysis. These tools were adapted to the specific needs of this type of architecture. The concepts were tested in full-size prototypes, and applied in the construction of two urban buildings in the UK: the New Parliamentary Building at Westminster in London and the Inland Revenue Centre in Nottingham. The real performance of the energy saving concepts has been followed up.

A massive reduction in energy demands is possible if the building materials and ventilation system are adapted as they have been in the prototype testing; a decrease from 360 to 67 kWh m{-2} per year has been shown. (Note that this assumes that the building is using other energy saving options as well as the new design features.) The computer simulations were shown to represent the actual conditions quite effectively and will form useful design tools in the future.

Reported by

Michael Hopkins and Partners
27 Bradley Terrace
NW1 6LG London
United Kingdom
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