Igus Factory, Cologne - Engineering by Bryden Wood

Building Physics is the engineering discipline which models everything from the performance of the fabric of a building to the way it gains and loses heat and requires natural or artificial light inside. The aim of Building Physics is to provide comfortable, healthy, low energy buildings which perform well over the lifetime of the asset. Such principles help to form the basic building blocks of sustainable buildings, and the creation of a more sustainable future for the built environment as a whole.

Design to Value: facilitating sustainable buildings and sustainable construction, from the start

Bryden Wood’s approach to Building Physics enables us to design efficient and sustainable buildings from the outset. By properly understanding heat and energy flows in buildings, it is possible to develop high-performance buildings that are both comfortable and functional, and to minimise the environmental impacts of their construction and operation. We do this through computational and generative design - complex calculations and simulations to predict building performance. Part of our role is to turn this knowledge into useful and applied information that the design team can understand and incorporate into the design of the scheme, along with the principles of our Design to Value approach. A more sustainable design is the result.

A collaborative approach to building physics and sustainable design

Our ethos encourages an integrated design approach. We hold workshops with the design teams on a regular basis from the start of a project. This open communication enables us to evaluate various architectural or mechanical and electrical engineering options against implications on building performance, energy demand, daylight penetration or thermal comfort. It also includes wide sustainability issues.

The art of Building Physics is not just how to understand and analyse the impact of design decisions on a building’s performance, but also understanding how best to manage conflicting requirements. For example, increasing the size of windows allows daylight to penetrate further into a room but can also result in increased solar gain (heat from the sun). This in turn means higher cooling load and energy bills. By the same token, making the windows smaller can reduce heating bills but may make a room appear dark and gloomy.

We encourage architectural strategies to be discussed openly and the full implications on the building physics disciplines interrogated. Using a circular feedback loop, we can make further improvements to the building’s form and the building’s performance balance, whether it be a new build or a retrofit of an existing building.

Broad specialist capabilities for building physics and sustainable design

Our specialist capabilities include:

  • Net zero carbon design
  • Façade design and optimisation
  • Regulatory and operational energy analysis
  • Daylight assessment
  • Overheating assessment
  • CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic)
  • Condensation risk and thermal performance.


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