Thermal Design

Proper design and selection of building components at the early stages of the design process can greatly help in achieving thermal comfort with minimum reliance upon HVAC systems and, therefore, minimum energy requirements. Given today's complexities in building design as well as advances in computer technology, optimization techniques can be used as an aid to building designers in their decision making process.

Buildings with intermittent occupancy may not perform thermally the same as typical commercial and residential facilities. Thermal design requirements require careful envelope design coupled with the appropriate air-conditioning system operation strategies.

Why is Thermal Comfort in Buildings Important?

It’s simple: working in optimal conditions enables us to think and work better. Eliminating potential health hazards is also a very important aspect of maintaining ideal thermal comfort. The lack of both individual and group comfort is detrimental to the overall well-being and productivity of the building’s occupants. Furthermore, it is relatively simple to understand and design adequate HVAC systems from the inception stages, particularly when it comes to individual rooms or single office spaces. Things become somewhat more complicated when considering the design of complete office buildings, where each room and floor have quite different thermal comfort parameters: different number of people, different sizes, placing of windows may differ, diversity of the electronic equipment or the vicinity of special areas such as server rooms, central heating systems, staircases, and other service premises may alter the thermal requirements.

What Influences Thermal Comfort?

Thermal comfort is a cumulative effect resulting from a series of environmental and personal factors. Environmental factors include:
• Air temperature — The air contact temperature measured by the dry bulb temperature (DBT)
• Air velocity - The air contact velocity measured in m/s
• Radiant temperature — The temperature of a person’s surroundings; generally expressed as mean radiant temperature (MRT) which is a weighted average of the temperature of the surfaces surrounding a person and any strong mono-directional radiation, such as the solar radiation
• Relative humidity —The ratio between the current amount of vapour in the air and the maximum amount of water vapour that the air can hold at that air temperature, expressed as a percentage.

The design and construction of buildings that fit all thermal design standards and requirements is a delicate process. For the final design to be energy efficient, we need the essential contribution of the HVAC systems simulation algorithms, which allows us to predict the ventilation and air conditioning systems’ performance. Call Spenergy today for the perfect thermal design for your building.