Following the success of the inaugural buildeng conference which was held late September in Southampton, within the Hampshire area of the Southern Region, a similar buildeng conference was recently held in Ashford, within the Kent area of the Region.
The technical presentations which formed the conference were around ‘efficiency of buildings’, and covered ‘Avoiding overheating in our buildings’, ‘Passivhaus design’, ‘Air Tight Testing’ and ‘Building Technologies for the Future’. All four presentations were offered by professional practitioners within the Built Environment, to just over 90 delegates who attended the four-hour conference at Holiday Inn, Ashford Central.
The Region was pleased that David Taylor, Vice-President of CABE, agreed to undertake the formal welcome, as well as Chair the proceedings of the events. We were also very fortunate in being able to secure a main sponsor of the event – MLM, an innovative engineering, environmental consultancy and corporate approved inspector company, which provides professional services in all aspects of the Built Environment within the UK and overseas. The conference was also supported by three exhibition stands from Timberwise, Envirograf and Mapei UK Ltd.
Andrew Strut, an Associate and Head of the Energy and Sustainable Team for Silcock Dawson and Partners, opened the conference with a presentation on ‘Avoiding overheating in our buildings’. As a Building Services Consultant, Andrew explained to the delegates what was overheating and the drivers to reduce overheating risk. He also spent time reviewing the various assessment methodologiesavailable, and gave an insight into techniques to help reduce overheating risks.
Andrew advised delegates that there was a consultation to SAP 2016 where it was intended to consider tighter restriction on opening windows assumption and consider blinds or curtains to be closed to a maximum of 65% of the time – instead of the current ‘fully closed’ option which is within SAP 2012. L2A (criterion 3) currently was not a test for overheating. When making reference to CIBSE TM52 ‘The limits of thermal comfort’, which is based on BS EN 15251:2007, delegates were informed that this adaptive approach was developed for ‘free-running’ commercial buildings and provides a definition of overheating with a pass or fail result.
Delegates were informed that there were a series of technical documents which were going to release imminently to assist in ‘adaptive approaches’. For schools, BB101 (2017) had a release date imminent, where it provides details guidance on ventilating schools. It will also focus on air quality in teaching and staff areas. For homes, delegates were informed that CIBSE were about to release new guidance, which would test against common internal profiles (occupancy and gains). The guidance will also reflect longer occupancy periods.
Paul Mallion, Director at Conker Conservation Ltd, presented the second paper on ‘Passivhaus Standard’. As a Chartered Building Surveyors and certified Passivhaus designer, he was able to offer an introductory insight to Passivhaus houses, which he has been involved in since 1999. Paul offered the following Passivhaus definition saying: ‘A passive house is a building for which thermal comfort (ISO 7730) can be achieved solely by post heating, or post cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air’.
From the various projects which Paul has been involved in, he was able to show that it was not only houses that could have a Passivhaus design – it can even extend to industrial buildings. To give an indication as to the cost saving which can be gained from the design, Paul showed a house in Dorset constructed in 2015, which has an average monthly fuel bill of £12.50.
Delegates were told that Passivhaus did not cover:
- potable water usage
- ecological materials
- surface water drainage
- waste management
- transport, cycle storage, washing lines
When reviewing the maximum U-values for a Passivhaus design delegates were informed that roofs, walls and floors are required to be 0.15W/m2K and windows 0.8W/m2K, with thermal bridges no greater than 0.01W/m2K.
Following a short refreshment break, a short video clip was shown about the CABE Benevolent Fund, where delegates were informed that the Benevolent Fund’s aim was to assist members/former members of the CABE and /or their dependants should they find themselves in difficulty and in need of help and support. The purpose of the video was to raise awareness of the fund and request those attending to contact the Clerk to the Trustees if they know of someone who might need assistance.
Barry Cope, ATTMA Scheme Manager and the person who is responsible for the UK and International Competent Person Scheme, offered the third presentation where he informed delegates and demonstrated their new quality control ‘lodgement’ system which has been introduced by ATTMA, which records data from every pass and fail test from their members, which account for 85% of the industry.
Delegates were informed that ATTMA created a competent person scheme that encompassed all testers and provided support and guidance not only to tester but to industry stakeholders.
In the final presentation, which was offered by Technical Director, Kevin Blunden, on ‘Building Technologies for the future’, delegates were informedon the increased use in off-site construction. We were told that between 10-15% of UK construction takes place offsite, with an estimated value of £1.5billion. The process has a number of benefits as well as challenges. Delegates were also informed of the growth of BIM, where in the future it will progress to undertake automated design and checking and may be linked to robotic assembly. Kevin also took the time to review some new products like nanotechnology,self-cleansing surfaces, aerogels and covered the world of smart buildings though the potential use of 3D printing.
Michael Wadood, Regional Chairman brought the conference to a close, thanking David Taylor, Andrew Strut, Paul Mallion, Barry Cope and Kevin Blunden, our conference speakers, MLM –the conference main sponsor together with Timberwise, Envirograf and Mapei, the conference exhibitors, as well as the delegates who together made the conference a complete success.
For more pictures from the event please visit the April edition of Building Engineer.
Michael Wadood BSc(Hons), PPCABE, FCABE, FRICS, MCIOB - Southern Regional Chairman