A common problem with which we are often tasked is to improve the energy efficiency of older buildings.
This was the case recently when a global pharmaceutical company asked us to update two 1960s buildings.
The scope of the work included replacing the external cladding, windows, the flat roof and the air conditioning system. The buildings are used as an office and laboratory and had to remain in occupation during the construction phase.
To successfully deliver and manage a project of this nature, we put together an interdisciplinary team including Architects, Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health Engineers, Structural Engineers, a CDM Coordinator, Contract Administrator and a Project Manager.
After consultation with the client, its Project Team and other stakeholders, we agreed an initial design in accordance with the client’s global design specification. This was then developed further through a series of weekly meetings.
We specified an aluminium curtain walling system for the cladding. Aluminium is light, strong, durable and corrosion resistant, requiring minimal maintenance. Almost half of the components used to create the cladding were recycled from aluminium scrap known as billet. A process that requires just 5% of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium.
For the glazing, we used Pilkington ‘Activ Suncool’. This self-cleaning glazing has a low emissivity coating on the inside surface for excellent thermal control.
We added external brise soleil with internal blinds for solar shading, increased insulation in the replacement flat roof and a new air conditioning system compliant with current regulations.
Much of the mechanical and potentially intrusive works – such as replacing air conditioning pipelines – were undertaken out of working hours, to ensure minimal disruption to the client’s daily activities.
Work was completed on time and budget. Based on energy calculations taken since, the total annual heating and cooling costs for the building have been reduced by 38.28%. Now the client benefits from a more cost-effective and energy efficient place in which to work.