The developed world is in a scurry to reduce Global warming.  It is impossible to view your online news feed, watch TV or read a newspaper without hearing the words Greenhouse Gasses, Carbon footprint or Climate change.   You can even have an intelligent conversation with any young person today on the subject about the importance of  it and rightly so. In 2015 the Paris agreement on climate change was signed by 195 countries including Ireland.   This agreement created a legally binding global climate deal to “avoid dangerous climate change”   by signing up to this, Ireland has agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Within the construction industry both here and internationally there is also an increased awareness of the issues and the implications the Paris Agreement will have on our industry.   It is likely that legislative and regulative changes will be introduced going forward.

Many companies are getting ahead of the game by investing in new product development introducing new practices and looking to sustainability.  Organizations such as LEED, BREEAM and The Wellness Standards for example are striving to ensure that we contribute to a better indoor environment by offering shading solutions..

At Paddy Rogers Blinds Limited (PRBL) we are conscious of these changes and are evolving with the industry by offering a product portfolio which offers sustainability to our customer.

In addition, PRBL identify with other trending design considerations.  PRBL works closely with the Architect & Design community to understand the needs of other influences such as Biophilic design, Circadian rhythm, Cradle to Cradle, Green Building Council which are all considered within our dedicated service to make a difference.  It is our collective, responsibility within the construction industry to beaware of and responsible for the built environment. An acceptance of the growing environmental concerns, potential resource depletion, the way in which we construct, design and other elements steer us to keep striving to better processes which will no doubt impact future generations.

So how do we assist in creating Sustainability within the design process and the built environment? Many organisations, politicians, debates/forums, both locally and globally have all generated valid arguments.

  • The UK Building Regulations have tried to address the situation with legislation.
  • The World Green Building Council (WGBC) is striving for zero carbon emission by 2050 for all major businesses following an agreement in 2015.
  • The introduction of BiM modelling (also legislation) is gathering pace meaning that designers, contractors alike adopt a cleaner process to the industry.

These examples just scratch the surface in the challenge of becoming ‘Sustainable’.

The reduction in energy consumption for building owners has always been a concern and has principally been about HVAC, Lighting, and the building envelope. Yet the growing trend of increasing glazing expanse to facades seems to have no boundaries and this is one of the main contributors to energy lossIt is true to say that innovations in glazing now allows a high percentage of visible light for daylighting and reduced heat gain. However It also exposes occupants to much more intense window brightness, glare and solar radiation.  Humans react nearly instantly to direct sunlight through glass, whereas their responses to other changes in the room tend to be more gradual. A window management system (Automation) should respect the human factor by responding to changes in the real-time solar condition within a moment……….

To do this, each unique project’s geographical location is analysed to understand the precise solar path and impact of both Azimuth & Altitude on the building facades. By doing this, there is no restriction on design, allowing designers to be free in their concepts in the knowledge that we can offer solar protection and assist in the reduction of solar heat gain and therefore carbon emissions.

This symbiotic relationship of shading systems & lighting systems also will be a major contribution to the reduction of carbon emissions but will also assist in the reduction of the HVAC systems as the control of heat gain will be met and effectively controlled at the building envelope.

PRBL’s approach to sustainability see’s us working closely with clients specifically at the inception and concept phases .   This ensures we develop and assist our clients to achieve LEED, BREEAM or any other standards that are required.

It is also imperative that a costing exercise is undertaken to ensure that the optimal solution is taken forward and costs are outlined from the outset. Ensuring that the specification is held through to design completion/handover. We work closely with Designers, Contractors, M&E specialists and others to ensure all aspects are covered and the specification remains.

Below are descriptions of the prominent Organisations that we work closely with;

BREEAM  

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction & operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building’s environmental performance. It encourages designers, clients and others to think about low carbon and low impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.

BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers, designers and building managers to demonstrate the environmental credentials of their buildings to clients, planners and other initial parties,

BREEAM:

  • uses a straightforward scoring system that is transparent, flexible, easy to understand and supported by evidence-based science and research,
  • has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings,
  • Defines and maintains a robust technical standard with rigorous quality assurance and certification.

The BREEAM core standards interpret the code as two separate but linked documents, one focusing on technical and the other on process/operational requirements. These documents list the requirements that a scheme operator must comply with in order to be affiliated with BREEAM.

Ireland, along with the UK is one of the few countries in Europe who acknowledge and use the regulations designed by BREEAM. It is also gathering more pace as awareness builds.

LEED

LEED represents  green building leadership. LEED is transforming the way we think about how buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe.

LEED certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project.

PRBL can assist in developing all requirements for your building / design process.

LEED Versions;

LEED Version Start Date Registration Deadline Sunset Deadline
LEED v3 November 2009 October 2016 June 2021
LEED v4 November 2013 June 2021 June 2027
  • Start Date – when a building/project can FIRST register under the version.
  • Registration Deadline – in order to pursue that specific version of LEED, a building/project MUST be registered by that date (important for V3 vs v4, V3 is much more difficult)
  • Sunset deadline – all paperwork must be submitted by this date to earn certification under that standard

Please do note; LEED v3 will be with us for 3 more years, so we cannot ignore this, however, v4 will soon become the standard.

LEED v3;

Materials • Recycled Content. • Manufacturing Location. • C2C Innovation Credit.

Daylight/Views • Daylight and views are combined in one credit. • Automation can help streamline the process. • Must design for daylight, cannot just earn with automation.

LEED v4 Swap • Can use the LEED v4 material credits instead of the LEED v3 material credits. • More straight-forward and cheaper strategy to achieve for owner.

LEED v4;

Summary of Requirements:

  • Quantify: direct line of sight to the outdoors via vision glazing for 75%.
  • Quality: 75% of all regularly occupied floor area must have at least two “quality” view types.

Our recommended solution is to use automation – Consider using glare-control devices that preserve the view to the exterior. Movable glare-control devices do not need to be included in the calculations.

WELL Building Standard

 

The WELL Building Standard (WELL) focuses on the people in the building. Over the last decade, green building standards and standard-setting organizations have made significant strides towards the market transformation of the building industry, resulting in a rapid expansion of green buildings and environmentally conscious building practices throughout the world. Over the same period, limited attention to the well-being of humans occupying the spaces have been paid in the existing sustainable program strategies

  1. WELL is the first standard of its kind that focuses solely on the health and wellness of building occupants.
  2. WELL identifies 100 performance metrics, design strategies, and policies that can be implemented by the owners, designers, engineers, contractors, users and operators of a building.
  3. WELL is based on a thorough review of the existing research on the effects of spaces on individuals and has been advanced through a thorough scientific and technical review.
  4. In order to achieve the requirements of the WELL Building Standard, the space must undergo a process that includes an on-site assessment and performance testing by a third party.

A Wellness Standard for Buildings the WELL Building Standard uses best practices in design and construction with proven health and wellness interventions. It takes advantage of the building structure to support human health, well-being and comfort. WELL Certified™ spaces and projects can lead to a built environment that helps to improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep, comfort and performance of its occupants. This is achieved in part by implementing strategies, programs and technologies designed to encourage healthy, more active lifestyles and reducing occupant exposure to harmful chemicals and pollutants.

WELL Building Standard is applicable for commercial and institutional buildings and WELL Certification can be applied to three project typologies:

  1. New and Existing Buildings
  2. New and Existing Interiors
  3. Core and Shell

Below is a short summarization from WELL standard v 1 with October 2016 addenda:

‘ORGANIZATION OF THE WELL BUILDING STANDARD® The WELL Building Standard is organized into seven categories of wellness called Concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.

WELL Building Standard Features, Parts and Requirements The seven concepts are comprised of 102 features. Every feature is intended to address specific aspects of occupant health, comfort or knowledge. Each feature is divided into parts, which are often tailored to a specific building type.

This means that depending on the building type (e.g., New and Existing Interiors or Core and Shell), only certain parts of a given feature may be applicable. Within each part are one or more requirements, which dictate specific parameters or metrics to be met. In order for a project to receive credit for a particular feature, all of its applicable component parts specifications must be satisfied. Features can be:

– Performance-based standards that allow flexibility in how a project meets acceptable quantified thresholds – Prescriptive standards that require specific technologies, design strategies or protocols to be implemented’

For further information please contact Paddy Rogers Blinds Ltd., on 0035318601855.