Building Services is the practice of providing comfort with minimal energy use.
The objectives are usually to enable the design of buildings which are comfortable, energy efficient and healthy. This involves using a mix of experience and calculation tools to understand and predict the behaviour of whole buildings. Both building fabric and building services work in tandem to achieve the design brief and, where the results are not acceptable, to support design teams to improve or refine their proposals.
The UK building regulations incorporate several requirements that are assessed using some element of building services, in particular Part L, where whole-building models are used to assess the energy efficiency and carbon emissions before a building is constructed. We aim to target only the highest levels of performance to help residential clients reach the future homes standard or even Zero Carbon.
But building services is not just about desk-top theory – we pride ourselves on a deep understanding of how buildings new and old are put together and operate. This experience enables us to deliver more value to our clients by discussing potential problems at an early stage, and by ensuring the design is build-able, and what gets built matches the design.
Early Stages RIBA 1 – 2
During the early stages Greengauge helps clients to agree on the design brief. We then work on a strategy which culminates in the production of a RIBA Stage 2 Report. This report builds on the energy modelling to develop the MEP and energy strategy for the site. The early modelling allows us to size plant and load requirements. The report reviews options and provides proposals and recommendations covering all mechanical and electrical (M&E) services. It outlines the selected servicing strategy indicating typical equipment strategies and sizes for client agreement and to assist with the cost planning by the QS, prior to moving through to tender.
Tender RIBA Stages 3 – 4
Tender is dependent on the procurement route. Typically these consist of either traditional or design and build contracts. At Greengauge we can prepare and undertake designs suitable for tendering either route. Traditional will be undertaken at Stage 4 Technical design for Tender and include the design model, specification, drawings and equipment selection and sizing. Design and Build will be undertaken at Stage 3 Developed design for Tender and include the design model, performance specification, select drawings and large equipment selection and sizing to cover the vital co-ordination points but leaves the contractor to complete the Technical design.
Each tender pack of information will cover all topics:
Above ground drainage
Hot and cold water
Telecoms and data
Fire detection and alarms
Intruder and CCTV
Greengauge use 2D/3D modelling CAD software and we run either Revit or ArchiCAD to model all services or we can design only certain/specific elements.
Information is issued in PDF format, CAD and 3-D IFC files that can be provided with a free viewer to assist in site coordination.
On site RIBA Stages 5 – 7
On site, our team continues to provide added value in the form of remote site support (inc. response to site queries, RAIs and RFIs), attending monthly site meetings, monitoring installation progress and quality during the construction period as well as witness testing and system commissioning. Greengauge also reminds the contractor that they shall be required to supply all AS BUILT drawings and information for the O&M Manuals and the Energy Performance Certificates.
Measure and Monitor
We use a variety of measurement and monitoring methods and tools to evaluate our buildings’ energy usage and internal environment against design intent. These and other parameters feed into our future work and design, to refine them and improve the reliability of the conclusions and recommendations we make. Also, on a less quantitative stance, qualitative post occupancy evaluation and tenant questionnaires also form part of our offering 12 months after commissioning.