Our Experience

Innovative builders and developers have discovered that thermal modelling offers a cost effective solution. When looking for ways of meeting building regulations and ‘SAP score’ compliance, calculated Psi-values can be used again and again for a single expenditure.

Psi-values are the amount of heat, above calculated U-values, that escapes at building junctions. The SAP calculation takes this into account by adding in extra heat loss for every for meter of building junction. These are required to be, “calculated by a person with suitable expertise and experience using the guidance set out in BR 497, Conventions for calculating linear thermal transmittance and temperature factors and BRE IP 1/06.” If designed well, these calculated Psi-values can lower SAP ‘scores’ significantly.

Thermal assessment is often required with glass and aluminium facades. Such curtain walls are technically complex, and offer many advantages to the occupiers. However, such curtain walls do not insulate as well as more traditional walls,and requires a skilled and experienced practitioner to calculate the U-values required using numerical thermal modellin. Residential use of glass and aluminium curtain walling poses different challenges to commercial occupation, U-values becoming critical to meeting energy use regulations, and often a lack of air conditioning requiring careful analysis for condensation risks.

Balconies, popular in residential applications, also provide challenges.

The Wright Consultancy has these skills and will be able to calculate U-values, Psi-values and condensation risk for your project.

As houses have become better insulated and internal humidity levels have increased, condensation has become a real issue. Condensation Risk Assessment can be used to control the risk of black mould and interstitial condensation that can lead to fabric deterioration. To avoid this, building elements should follow best practice, and where this is not clear, condensation risk should be calculated.

Condensation risk can be calculated through the ‘Glaser Method’, as specified by BS 5250 and in BS EN ISO 13788. These can be done in 1 dimension, or in 2D or 3D if there is a complex problem that requires detailed investigation.

Avoiding condensation with significant metal elements in structures can be reliably calculated with detailed modelling.

Predicting the behaviour of a whole building in real world terms is a challenge. Dynamic modelling offers a tool to do just this. Models of commercial structures and dwellings can be used to identify key issues and find solutions acceptable to all parties before construction commences. Overheating, especially peak and minimum temperatures; engineering passive solar gain; seasonal responses and predicted heating loads are issues that can be resolved through whole building dynamic modelling well in advance of post construction snagging.

ESP-r, proven academic software developed in Strathclyde University and used world wide, can be used to turn possible problems into advantages. Verified in a variety of locations and applications, this open source software has been used by Matthew Wright to resolve issues for both housing and non-residential applications.

Sometimes there is a need to go deeper than just finding the condensation point in a building. When there are unusual materials, composites and often with joining existing material in situ, there is a need to find how the said moisture might flow within the building over time. This is the analysis that WUFI offers. It is both complex and interesting physics as the moisture can change from vapour to liquid over time and seasonal differences.

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