Building Analysis for

Design Decision-making

Green Building is a multidisciplinary field in which all design systems interact with each other.  In order to reach high performance building designs, a building should be analyzed upon sun, light, wind, energy and comfort metrics. 

Explore the different analysis subjects below and find out about examples of studies we can perform to help your project become a Green Building.

Cover illustration from Freedigitalphotos.net - Creator: ddpavumba

STUDIES
PROJECTS

Capital Market Center (CMC)– Bangkok, THAILAND

Meinhardt– Bangkok, THAILAND

ESD Team Leader - LEED / ESD Project Coordinator

Tsing Hua University– Hsinchu, TAIWAN

Bioarchitecture Formosana – Taipei, TAIWAN

Green Building Consultant

Princess Grace Hospital – Monaco

Vasconi Associés Architectes – Paris, FRANCE

Environmental Assistant

 
 

What Is It?

Conceiving a Green Building is an early on integrated process, applied at every design stage, implicating all designers. We start by defining the boundaries of your project by identifying the strengths and opportunities of your project's context.

 

We then elaborate design options of the different building blocks: the architecture, the envelope and the facade. We study solar, thermal, lighting, visibility and airflow metrics to compare and adjust design alternatives.

 

Upon those results, we analyze the design's performance with key indicators that we believe to be energy and comfort. Once a balance of these KPI's is achieved, we validate your design and prepare it for compliance whereas it shall be environmental certification, building codes or a challenging and ambitious project objective.

How We Do It?

We provide building physics analysis at every stage of your project whether you are looking for an optimization or a validation of your design.

We defined a series of metrics upon which we study fundamental factors such as the sun and wind's implications on thermal, visual comfort and energy consumption to evaluate your design performance and compare it to your intended goals.

 
 
CLIMATE
Climate Analysis
Opportunity

Every green building study should start with a comprehensive and thorough climate analysis. Climate and location is what is going to determine the opportunities and strengths of your project. It will also give you an insight to identify the threats and risks of your project.

 
Approach

We use local weather data to provide you with information on solar availability, temperature and humidity levels and prevailing winds.

Application

This study is essential for any further study in green building analysis. This analysis describes the context of your project and will define the conditions for it to become a green building. This analysis will give you an insight on which passive design strategies can be applied to your project.

Climate Data - Image made with Ecotect Autodesk Analysis

 
Solar Analysis
Opportunity

Sun is a source of heat gains and, in tropical climates, results in overheating issues. Overheating increases cooling energy requirements while decreasing thermal comfort levels.

 
Approach

This study focuses on solar availability and exposure to determine potential heat gains.

Application

This study will advise you on which orientation is the most exposed to the sun and which has the least sun available. With this information you can adapt your design to reduce heat gains from highly exposed orientations. This will help you optimize your orientation, massing and space layout as well as your facade design in choosing glazing types and providing adequate solar protection.

This analysis is also a constituent of the Thermal Comfort Study. [See Thermal Comfort Study]

SUN

Solar exposure: incident radiation - Image made with Ecotect Autodesk Analysis

Shadow Analysis
Opportunity

While too much sun causes overheating, not enough sun results in overshadowing. Overshadowing increases artificial lighting energy requirements while decreasing visual comfort levels.

 
Approach

This study focuses on shadow range to determine overshadowing issues. We take in account shading caused by outside obstructions as well as caused by the geometry of the building itself.

Application

This study will advise you on which orientation has the least sun available. With this information you can  optimize your building to incorporate good daylight design.  This includes orientation, space layout, solar reflectors and glazing properties.

This analysis is also a constituent of the Visual Comfort Study. [See Visual Comfort Study]

Shadow range: butterfly diagram - Image made with Ecotect Autodesk Analysis

LIGHT
Lighting Analysis
Opportunity

Light availability is a result of solar and shading potential. Too much light will cause glare issues when not enough light will force you to use artificial lighting with consequences on your occupants' well being as well as on your building's energy consumption.

 
Approach

Lighting studies include both artificial and natural light analysis.

Application

This study will help you increase light accessibility from poorly sunlit orientations and reduce unwanted light which causes glare issues. Good and efficient daylight does not only mean free light in minimizing your artificial lighting contribution and reducing your lighting energy requirements, it allows you to comply with good visual comfort levels.

This study can lead to daylight savings analysis.

This analysis is also a constituent of the Visual Comfort Study. [See Visual Comfort Study]

Visibility range - Image made with Ecotect Autodesk Analysis

 
Visibility Analysis
Opportunity

A building is never really a stand alone object. Whether it is located in a highly dense urban context or in a vegetation intensive landscape, it is subject to its surroundings. These surrounding elements act as obstructions which will contrast light availability.

 
Approach

We analyze how your project will be impacted by surrounding obstructions (neighboring buildings, vegetation, topography) and the building itself. This study consists in evaluating occupants' access to outdoor views and right-to-light.

Application

A visibility analysis will define which spaces have the best access to outdoor views and which ones will be negatively impacted by surrounding structures. This study will give you insight on how your spaces should be layout and which ones are more suitable per usage type.

This analysis is also a constituent of the Visual Comfort Study. [See Visual Comfort Study]

Right to Light - Image made with Ecotect Autodesk Analysis

Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis (CFD)
Opportunity

Airflow around and within a building is an important element of passive design. If used to its advantage, it can reduce heat gains and provide your spaces with a gentle breeze. On the other hand, a strong wind factor can create uncomfortable and impracticable zones, not to mention it can pressure the structure of the building itself.

 
Approach

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has first been applied to aircrafts and vehicles to study aerodynamics. We use the same fundamental Navier-Stokes equations,  applied to buildings, to study air dynamics, predicting and analyzing airflow patterns within and around your building.

Application

This study can quantify indoor environmental quality, determine the design's potential for natural ventilation and identify if particular attention should be brought to pressured facade elements.

WIND

Natural Ventilation Potential - Image made with NIST CFD

 
ENERGY
Energy Analysis
Opportunity

Buildings require energy to provide indoor environments with heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and water. Integrating passive design strategies and supplementing your building with energy efficient mechanical systems reduces the overall energy consumption of your building operation.

 
Approach

We provide Energy modeling for preliminary/conceptual analysis as well as parametric and whole building energy analysis.

Application

Energy analysis studied at an early stage can determine which building orientation and massing options are the most optimal making the most of your location and climate. Conceptual energy analysis studies different design options and compares them in terms of energy efficiency. These results can be used to decide, for example, on a glazing or luminaire type.

Whole building energy analysis provides insight on which building systems are the most energy consuming and how these systems interact with each other. The results will demonstrate if you comply to local building codes and how well your building performs in the Green Building sphere.

Example of Energy Consumption per End Uses - Courtesy: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

 
COMFORT

Buildings are made for people to live in and design must take into account human comfort as much as reducing a building's carbon footprint in a response to climate change and sustainability. As a matter of fact, comfortable indoor environments increase occupants' productivity, health and overall well being, making comfort an essential metric from a human standpoint.

Institutions have been working on developing normative references to bring a quantitative value to comfort, more understandable and measurable to most parties. Today, comfort can be quantified and evaluated upon a benchmark as comfortable, good, acceptable or bad. These qualitative descriptions are accredited based on minimum and maximum acceptable values in terms of thermal and visual comfort.

So how is comfort measured? We study every factor responsible for comfort and compare them to standardized benchmarks such as ASHRAE. Depending on where your project is located, the inherent climatic conditions, usage type of your project, and projected green goals, the comfort criteria will differ. 

 
Thermal Comfort Analysis
Opportunity

Thermal comfort is achieved when occupants are neither cold nor hot. Indeed, temperature is the most significant component of comfort sensation. When occupants feel comfortable, they require less air conditioning, which in terms improves energy savings.

 
Approach

Thermal comfort is the measure of heat transfer between the human body and its close environment. It is dictated by physiological factors (activity and clothing) and environmental factors (temperature, humidity, air speed). We rely on your project type and use to define the physiological factors and perform computer simulations to calculate the environmental factors for worst and best case scenario.

Application

 An evaluation of all of these factors compared to minimum requirements (i.e. ASHRAE 55) will determine if your occupied spaces meet standardized criteria for good thermal comfort levels.

Thermal Comfort Factors - Source: Aggregate Industries

Visual Comfort Analysis
Opportunity

Visual comfort is defined as a combination of lighting quality from both natural and artificial lighting sources and access to outdoor views. A good lighting design relies as much as possible on daylight, while avoiding glare issues. Additionally, it will compensates for insufficient light levels with  even,  correctly contrasted and colored artificial lighting.

 
Approach

Visual Comfort is a measure of the interaction between natural and artificial light, their control and regulation. It also takes into account the occupants' visibility range, both of the outdoors and inside the space itself. We perform computer simulations to calculate illuminance levels, daylight availability and utilization levels, glare and solar protection effectiveness.

Application

An analysis of these lighting metrics compared to minimum requirements (i.e. Illuminating Engineering Society standard) will determine if your project meets satisfying visual comfort levels.

Daylight Factor - Image made with Ecotect Autodesk Analysis

CERTIFICATION

Green Building is recognized worldwide by organizations and corporations as a warranty of quality and sustainability practice. Whether you are looking for green building certification or to reach high performance levels, we provide you with the necessary support to reach your sustainability goals.

Our green building services will support you both technically and administratively towards high performance green building standards which are in line with Green Building Certification rating systems (i.e. LEED, EDGE, TREES etc.) and local building codes.

 

We will assess the feasibility for your project to comply with specific green building rating requirements and help you achieve a rating level in accordance with your project concept, goals, budget and schedule.

 
LEED
Energy Modeling
(Preliminary energy consumption forecast + EA Credit 1 Compliance)

With EA Credit 1's potential of earning up to 21 points energy modeling is a crucial element of LEED certification. Because energy consumption is a result of architecture, fabric, lighting, occupation and HVAC systems design decisions, scoring high in this particular credit is a two way street achievement as it is impacted by and impacts all other categories. As a result, energy modeling serves three major purposes in the conception of your design. It provides design teams with useful knowledge about how building blocks interact with each other, hence bringing insight on how your energy goals can be achieved while uncompromising other categories. It measures the performance of your design and brings up design issues early in the design process. And last but not least, it strongly helps your project in obtaining the projected certification level.

We provide energy modeling at a conceptual stage to forecast future energy savings. We also develop energy models and analysis for Energy&Atmosphere's Credit 1 (Optimize Energy) Compliance. For the latter, we analyze baseline as well as proposed models to justify of the energy savings made.

 
Lighting Simulation
(IEQ Credit 8.1 Compliance)

IEQ LEED lighting related credits require simulations to justify of the amount of indoors daylight availability and access to outdoor views. We define your regularly occupied spaces and provide computer simulations to verify your spaces get enough daylight and access to views to comply with the credits' requirements.

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© 2019 by Green Building Consulting & Engineering, a divion of Technisoft (Thailand).