Richmond House: Thermal Modelling Analysis Report

Schiano-Phan, R., Galves, J. and Futas, N. 2020. Richmond House: Thermal Modelling Analysis Report. London SAVE Britain's Heritage.

TitleRichmond House: Thermal Modelling Analysis Report
AuthorsSchiano-Phan, R., Galves, J. and Futas, N.
TypeTechnical report
Abstract

The re-use of existing office buildings is a vital strategy in order to meet the government’s carbon targets by 2050 (The Climate Change Act 2008 - 2050 Target Amendment). In an age of growing climate crisis, Richmond House can lead the way.

This new study by the University of Westminster shows how Richmond House can be refurbished to meet the challenges of global warming and reduce operational energy use. By employing natural ventilation, the need for mechanical cooling can be removed, including that of obtrusive air conditioning ducts within the constraint of the existing ceiling heights.

The existing floor-to-ceiling height within Richmond House meets current BCO guidelines for refurbished office space (British Council for Offices, 2014). Thermal modelling analysis shows how a naturally ventilated solution can be developed within the existing floor to ceiling heights to virtually eliminate all potential overheating, and without recourse to energy hungry air conditioning. This demonstrates how the existing building can be easily and cost effectively adapted to reduce operational energy costs and create a state of the art, naturally ventilated working environment.

The study demonstrates that there are significant opportunities for creating a state of the art naturally ventilated refurbished building. These include:

● Increasing ventilation by adding louvers to all windows (facilitating night-time ventilation) and increasing openable area to 30% with no AC (See Case 3A). Additional natural convective cooling could be introduced by creating more openable window area such as the installation of new ventilation louvre panels which could be incorporated into the existing glazing pattern, for instance, opaque, openable louvres could be installed on top of casement windows. The advantage of this solution is that it will keep in character with the original building. However, in order to maintain good, natural lighting, alternating opaque and transparent sections of louvred panels could be desirable, depending on orientation. The advantage of this solution is that the work could be done externally and in a phased (floor by floor) manner during occupation, minimising disruption and reducing costs. Overheating frequencies can be reduced below 3% and carbon savings of 12kgCo2e/m2.yr would be achieved. Over the total floor area, this would yield a total carbon saving of approximately 180 tonnes/yr. Over just one year this saving would equate to about 180 return flights to New York or 360 return flights to Europe.

● Increasing ventilation (as above) and adding stack ventilation (including night-time ventilation and standard open fanlight area above doors) with no AC (See Case 4A). As well as introducing openable perimeter vents, the existing stair towers could be used to increase air movement to carry warm, stale air out of the building at high level and introduce cool, fresh air from perimeter vents. This would be achieved with the provision of openable panel/s on the top or the sides of the main door to the staircase and an opening at the top of the staircase. The potential limitation due to fire hazards related to the opening between offices and staircase could be counteracted with the employment of fire dumpers which automatically shut when smoke or fire is detected. This option would reduce risks of overheating by 96.7% and save 12kgCO2e/m2.yr, when compared to the base-case scenario (case 1A), and if optimised could provide further cooling in case of extreme hot conditions.

KeywordsNatural ventilation, grade two star listed building, environmental retrofit, sustainable conservation
Year2020
PublisherSAVE Britain's Heritage
Place of publicationLondon
Publication dates
Published11 May 2020
File
Web address (URL)https://www.savebritainsheritage.org/campaigns/item/637/PRESS-RELEASE-Going-green-refurb-Richmond-House-and-slash-carbon-emissions

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