LEED Gold Office Design

LEED Gold Office design was a central topic at the recent ‘Delivering Commercial NZEB’ conference in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, hosted by the Technical University of Dublin.

It is apparent that low-energy office buildings are becoming the norm in the Irish market. The NZEB regulations mean that the design of office buildings will address the following;

– SBEM based NEAP software will determine whether the design will comply with the new Part L Building Regulations.

– this is a compliance only software, and is not to be confused with software that must be used to model the energy balance of the building. To do so would almost definitely produce a building that will overheat, or consume huge amounts of energy. The software is not capable of giving and actual design energy consumption.

– Dynamic Building Simulation software must be used to design the building. IES has been referenced as potentially appropriate as part of the information that will be required. There are other specialist calculations around glazing design that may be beneficial, and others.

LEED Gold is the standard of environmental performance that is becoming the norm in the Dublin market. The map below shows the number of LEED Gold office buildings under construction at the moment in the Dublin City centre district. The presenter from RKD architects noted that they can see no market for office buildings below this standard, as this is what the companies expect as a minimum environmental performance.

To achieve a building of this standard the following attributes are average;

– glazed facades 1.3 W/m2K Ug value

– >62% light transmittance

– PV is most economic renewable technology

– heat pumps especially where local free energy source (streams, lakes, waste industrial heat) are available, but does not count as renewable in LEED, nor does gas fired CHP)

– mixed mode ventilation

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