The focus of the DT774a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Analysis & Energy Retrofit programme is non-residential building stock, exploring schools and office buildings. Each year our PG Diploma students produce nZEB retrofit design proposals for real life schools and office buildings, with projects carefully selected to inform research and establish retrofit design principles.
In 2014-2015 the office project was a deep energy retrofit proposal for the Liberty Hall using NEAP and SBEM. Click below to see a range of Liberty Hall Office Retrofit projects.
This project presented a range of challenges in addition to energy, notably the issue of Fire safety and sanitary provision with a very restricted existing core based on one staircase. As such the project required a re-design of the core to achieve functionality as well as a façade retrofit. From an energy and façade perspective particular challenges and limitations were the city centre location, height of the building, glazing on all elevations and limited roof area. As typical super insulation levels and high glazing can lead to counter problems of overheating and associated cooling load and solutions and energy modelling analysis was required that optimised and balanced all energy loads including heating, ventilation – cooling, lighting and power.
Once the issue of functionality of the core was resolved students explored and modelled a diverse range of low energy strategies and solutions, both passive and active. The façade retrofit design and specification proved to be key to driving down loads and energy use and a key issue was optimisation and complex inter-relationships between the different energy uses and systems.
Strategies incorporated included thermal mass, various shading solutions, advanced glazing specifications with services strategies including centralised and floor plate solutions given the small plate, low loads and energy consumptions proposed.